What Is Keeping You From Fully Engaging & Interacting With the World Around You?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first thirty-four verses of the ninth chapter. “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (Which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:1-7).

 

            “The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? HE said, I know not” (John 9:8-12).

 

            “They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, he is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind” How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him” (John 9:13-23).

 

            “Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? Will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we k now that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipped or God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out” (John 9:24-34).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find yet another personal and individual encounter between Jesus and one who was present during those days. If you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will clearly see a powerful picture of personal and intimate encounters Jesus had with certain individuals during those days. In fact, with the exception of the sixth chapter you will find that each of the chapters from the third on describe how Jesus spent time interacting with men and women on an individual basis. In the third chapter of this gospel you will find a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus who was desirous of Jesus and sought a personal and private audience with Him. It would be during this encounter Jesus would speak unto and teach Nicodemus concerning the tremendous need of being born again—a concept which seemed entirely and altogether foreign to him when he considered it. It would also be in this particular interaction when Jesus would declare how just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness so also must Christ the Messiah be lifted up that all men might come unto Him. Also in this passage of Scripture we encounter the tremendous picture of the love of the Father—a love which would give His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but eternal life. Moreover, what we find in this passage of Scripture is a powerful statement made by Jesus concerning the Father not sending His Son into the earth to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. In all reality it is quite remarkable and astounding to consider the fact that Jesus would indeed and would in fact entertain this Pharisee by night and there is not a doubt in my mind this Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus was one whose heart was not only desirous to see and speak with Jesus but one who also believed on Him.

 

            Upon coming to the fourth chapter you will again find a personal and private interaction between Jesus and another individual, however, this interaction and encounter would take place in Samaria. As you read the words which are found in the fourth chapter you will find that Jesus departed from Judaea to journey unto Galilee, however, He must needs pass through Samaria. What we find in the fourth chapter is how Jesus not only journeyed from Judaea and entered into Samaria but being wearied from His journey sat down at Jacob’s well which was present there outside a city of Samaria called Sychar. It was about the sixth hour when a woman from the city would come out with her water pot to draw forth water from the well as she had perhaps done numerous other times. The apostle John describes how the time of the day was about the sixth hour and there is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus had deliberately and intentionally wearied Himself on this journey because He had a schedule to keep with this woman. Although this woman had absolutely no idea she would meet the Messiah and the Christ at that well and in a place she had journeyed to countless other times she would find herself talking with the Messiah whom the Father had sent and whom the prophets had prophesied about. It would be there at the well where Jesus would ask this woman to give Him to drink from the well—a request that would take this woman by surprise since Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. This simple request for a drink of water was the catalyst and the launching pad for a tremendous and wonderful interaction between Jesus and this woman who was from the city of Sychar in Samaria.

 

            If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand about this passage is that Jesus would show up in the midst of Samaria and would ask this woman to drink and it would be this request that would enable Him to not draw forth water from the well but to draw forth water from the well of her soul. I have often and long believed that here at this well it wasn’t so much about drawing physical water from the well which was present there but about drawing forth that which was present within the heart and soul of this woman. As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will encounter the wonderful and powerful truth of Jesus speaking unto this woman of living water and how anyone who drank from the living water He offered and provided would never thirst again. This concept of living water would be incredibly enticing to this woman for she would ask the Lord Jesus to give her to drink of the water which He offered. It would be during this encounter we find Jesus speaking unto this woman—not only of her past relationships but also about something she was most likely seeking. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding this woman is not only that she was seeking something in each of the relationships she engaged in but there was also the expectation of the Messiah and the Christ within her heart and soul. Jesus would speak unto this woman concerning her past relationships when He instructed her to go and call her husband and invite him into the interaction and exchange. The woman would respond to Jesus by declaring how she had no husband—a statement which Jesus would acknowledge as being the truth for she previously had five husbands and the man whom she was now with was not her husband. It would be upon hearing this the Samaritan woman would perceive within herself that the man sitting in front of her was indeed a prophet—a statement which she would proclaim unto Him.

 

            What makes the narrative of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well is so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it for it draws and calls our attention to the fact that He would begin speaking about water but would transition to speaking about worship. Not only this but what we must needs recognize and understand concerning this encounter is that although this woman had previously had five husbands and was now with a sixth man who wasn’t her husband Jesus neither accused nor condemned her. It would have been very easy for Jesus to show up and condemn this woman for her past relationships and perhaps even for her carelessness and recklessness in them and yet Jesus did not show up to condemn her. What’s more is that instead of condemning this woman Jesus would speak unto her of worship and how the Father is Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. One of the final statements Jesus would make to this woman before she would depart leaving her water jar behind her was that He who spoke with her was indeed the Messiah and the Christ. There at the well in Samaria outside the city of Sychar Jesus would make the bold and emphatic declaration that He was indeed the Messiah and the Christ. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to just how incredible this encounter truly was for Jesus would enter into a place in which Jews would not have any dealings and would openly and publicly proclaim unto this woman that He was the Messiah and the Christ.

 

            One of the most intriguing truths surrounding this passage is that Jesus’ well-side encounter with this woman would indeed lead to something much greater and something which perhaps took the disciples by surprise. Although Jesus would speak with this Samaritan woman here at Jacob’s well outside of the city of Sychar she would return to the city and not only invite them to come see a man who told her everything she had ever done but also asked them if this particular one could in fact be the Messiah. OH there is not a doubt in my mind when reading the words in this passage that this woman was herself living with a Messianic expectation and anticipation within her heart and soul. Not only this, but I would dare say that those within this city of Sychar would also live with the same Messianic expectation for when they heard the word and testimony of this woman they would all depart from the city and come unto Jesus who was still at the well—almost as if waiting for the woman to return. I can’t help but think about the fact that Jesus undoubtedly knew that this woman would enter into the city and would speak unto the men concerning her encounter and would invite them to come out and see a man who had told her everything she had done. With this being said it’s important to note that this personal and private encounter which would take place between Jesus and the Samaritan woman would have implications which extended beyond just her, for Jesus the men of the city believed on Him because of the word and testimony of this woman. As a direct result they would entreat Jesus to abide and tarry with them—a request which He would honor as He would abide with them for two full days. As a direct result of Jesus’ tarrying together with these Samaritans they would believe on Him, yet not solely because of the word of this woman but also because of His own word which they had heard.

 

            As you continue reading in the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John you will find that Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem at a time of one of the feasts which the Jews celebrated. There in the city of Jerusalem there would be a pool which in the Hebrew tongue was called Bethesda and would have five porches or porticos present surrounding it. Within these five porches or porticos would be a great multitude of impotent folk, the blind, the withered and the lame—all who were waiting for the troubling of the waters of the pool. The apostle John emphatically declares that at a certain season an angel would come down and trouble the waters and whosoever would enter into the waters first would be made whole of whatever illness or disease was present within their physical bodies. Undoubtedly there were and there might have been those who lie and lived here who had entered into the waters and had received their healing by entering into the waters and perhaps departed from these porches. What the apostle John goes on to write within this passage of Scripture is how there was within one of these porches a man which had an infirmity for thirty and eight years. Jesus would come unto this man and would simply ask him if he would be whole. When this man heard the words which Jesus had spoken unto him he immediately responded from and out of his frustration and disappointment as he not only spoke of how he had no one who would help him get to and enter into the waters. Not only this but this man would also declare that while he was on his way to the waters another would step down ahead of and before him and would be healed instead.

 

            It is truly remarkable to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture as upon Jesus hearing the response of this man He would command him to rise, to take up his mat and walk. Immediately this man would rise up from his place after being made completely whole within his physical body. Not only this but what we find is that not only did Jesus depart from these porches and from the pool but this man would himself depart from the pool. The apostle John writes and records how this man would depart from the porch which had perhaps been his dwelling place and home for an extended period of time. After this man had left the porch which had been his dwelling place for such a long period of time he would be seen within the city of Jerusalem carrying his mat. Not only would this man be seen carrying his mat but he would be seen carrying his mat on the sabbath—something which the Jews didn’t look too kindly on for they would rebuke this man who had just been healed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon hearing the words which the Jews had spoken unto him this man would declare that the man who had made him whole instructed him to rise and to take up his mat. Initially when they asked him who made him whole he was not aware of who it was who healed him for Jesus had conveyed Himself away in the midst of the crowd. After the Jews had asked this man who had healed him Jesus would find him in the temple and would warn and caution him to go and sin no more less something worse come upon him. It would be at this point this man would learn and understand that it was Jesus who had healed him and would report to the Jews that it was indeed Jesus who healed him. This would set off a tremendous firestorm within and among the Jews for not only would they persecute Jesus because He had healed this man on the sabbath but they also sought to kill Him because He had claimed that God was His Father thus making Himself equal with God.

 

            Thus far both the fourth and fifth chapters provide us with powerful pictures of personal and private encounters that would ultimately lead to an even greater interaction with many more individuals. Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well would lead to Jesus abiding with the Samaritans for a full two days as He undoubtedly demonstrated and manifested Himself among them as the Messiah and the Christ. Jesus’ interaction with this man who had suffered from an infirmity for thirty and eight years would lead to Jesus contending and striving with the Jews as they not only persecuted Him but also sought to kill Him. Jesus would then contend and strive with the Jews as He would emphatically speak of Himself as being able to do nothing of Himself but only what He sees and hears the Father doing. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when you come to the eighth chapter of this gospel you will find another personal and private encounter taking place within the city of Jerusalem. The apostle John writes and records how Jesus had gone out unto the mount of Olives but had risen early the next morning and gone unto the Temple where He would teach all the people who came unto Him .It would be here at the Temple where the scribes and the Pharisees would bring a woman who had not only been caught but also taken in and taken from the act of adultery. Upon bringing this woman unto Jesus the scribes and the Pharisees would not only accuse her of adultery but also declared unto Him how Moses in the Law demanded that such a one be stoned. What makes this passage all the more intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that after the scribes and Pharisees had accused this woman of her iniquity and after they had proclaimed that which Moses had commanded and required they would ask Jesus what He said concerning this woman—and more importantly concerning her iniquity and transgression.

 

            If there is one thing I so absolutely love about this passage it’s that although there were and there would initially be two voices present within this woman’s life in the presence of Jesus within the Temple—the voice of religion and the voice of the Law—there would be a third voice that would be present within her life. Scripture reveals how when Jesus heard the words which the scribes and the Pharisees had spoken unto Him He stooped down and began writing in the ground as though He had not heard them. When the scribes and the Pharisees pressed Him even further with the same question Jesus would speak unto them and say, “He that is without sin let him first cast a stone at her.” Immediately after Jesus spoke these words He would again stoop down and continue writing in the ground. Scripture does not reveal what exactly Jesus wrote in the ground, however, what we do know is that when those who were present in the Temple heard the words which Jesus had spoken they were convicted by their own conscience and from the eldest to the last would depart from the Temple. There in the Temple Jesus would not only deliver this woman from her accusers but He would also deliver her from the judgment and condemnation of the Law. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage of Scripture is that when the scribes and Pharisees pressed Jesus concerning His opinion and what He said concerning this woman they did not expect Jesus’ word to far outweigh and even eclipse that which was written in the Law. One of the greatest truths found in this passage of Scripture is that the word which Jesus spoke would indeed and would inf act be greater than the Law. The words which Jesus had spoken on this particular occasion would not only deliver this woman from the accusation of religion but it would also deliver her from the condemnation of the Law. Here in the Temple of the LORD we find Jesus offering unto this woman a powerful gift of grace and truth as she would ultimately be left their standing alone with only Jesus before her. When Jesus asked this woman where her accusers were and if there was none who accused her she would respond that there was none who stood to condemn her. Upon hearing this Jesus would declare unto her that He didn’t condemn her and then instructed her to go and sin no more.

 

            When you come to the ninth chapter of this same New Testament gospel you will find another personal encounter which Jesus would have with one who was present within the city of Jerusalem. If you begin reading with and from the first verse you will find that as Jesus was passing by He saw a man which was blind from his birth. When the disciples themselves looked upon this man who had been born blind they asked Jesus who had sinned—this man or his parents that he had been born blind. In all reality their question was entirely and altogether misguided as it would have been impossible for this man to have sinned prior to his birth and as a result he would be born blind. It was utterly impossible for this man to have sinned prior to his birth and as a direct result of his sin he would be born blind. What is so incredibly powerful about this passage of Scripture is that Jesus declares unto the disciples that it was neither this man who had sinned nor his parents but that the works of God should be made manifest in him and in his life. Jesus would go on to declare unto the disciples how He must work the works of him that sent Him while it was day for the night was coming when no man can work. What’s more is Jesus would go on to declare that as long as He was in the world He was the light of the world. After speaking these words unto the disciples Jesus would spit on the ground, would make clay from the spittle and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Jesus would then instruct this man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam which by interpretation was “Sent.”

 

            I absolutely love what is found in this particular passage of Scripture—not only because Jesus was willing to give sight unto this blind man but that He was willing to do it on the sabbath. As we will later discover in this particular chapter we find that this healing and miracle would indeed take place on the sabbath day—something that would infuriate the Jews even more. The apostle John would write how after speaking unto His disciples Jesus would spit on the ground, make spittle and would then anoint the eyes of this man with the clay He had made from the ground. OH it is actually quite intriguing to read and consider this particular truth—particularly and especially when you consider the narrative that is found in the Old Testament book of Genesis. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find the narrative of the formation of Adam and how the LORD God would form Adam from the dust of the ground. What’s more is that not only would the LORD GOD form man from the dust of the ground but He would breathe into his nostrils the breath of life. It would be as a direct result of this breath of life that man would come alive and would become a living soul. Oh it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this as it calls and draws our attention to something truly remarkable and wonderful—namely that the LORD can indeed form, fashion and create from the clay of the ground. It would be in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the LORD God forming and creating man from the dust of the ground and it would be in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John we find Jesus once more working with the clay of the ground that He might work a miracle within the life of this man. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in both the first and second chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis:

 

            “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28).

 

            “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:7-9).

           

            AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND! Oh please don’t miss the incredible truth and significance of what is found in this passage of Scripture as it calls and draws our attention to the incredible and powerful truth concerning the living God forming man from the dust of the ground. When Adam was created He created entirely and altogether different than anything else the LORD God had made over the previous five days for when it came to the creation of Adam the LORD God would actually form him from the dust of the ground. Scripture clearly reveals and points to the fact that the LORD God would form man of the dust of the ground and how He would then breathe into his nostrils the breath of life which would cause him to become a living soul. What an incredibly powerful truth this is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to that which the LORD can do with the dirt of the ground—and not only the dirt of the ground but also with clay. It would be in the Scripture the LORD would speak through one of His servants that He was the potter and we ourselves are the clay—that which He can mold, shape and form as He did Adam when He formed him from the dust of the ground. What we find in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only Jesus giving sight to this man who had been born blind but also doing so by making clay from the dust of the ground. Essentially that which the LORD Jesus had done was take what man was originally made from and using it once more to engage in the act of creation. While it might be true that this man undoubtedly had eyes which could not see I would dare say that what Jesus would do with the clay which He had made was not simply anoint this man’s eyes but would also give unto this man entirely new eyes—eyes which were completely different from what he had been born with.

 

            As I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage I cannot help but get the strong sense that Jesus would make clay from the dust of the ground—that which man had originally been formed and fashioned from—and would use that clay to not only give unto this man sight but also give unto this man new and entirely different eyes. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus would indeed and would in fact give this man sight and He would do so by making clay from the dirt of the ground and forming and fashioning something entirely new. If there is one thing I absolutely love about this passage it’s the direct link and connection between what Jesus did here in Jerusalem and what the LORD God did to the east of the garden when He formed man from the dust of the ground. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how the LORD God formed and fashioned the dust of the ground that it might be the form and shape of a man but we know that He did in fact form man from the dust of the ground before He breathed into His nostrils thus causing him to become a living soul. Oh it something worth thinking about when reading this passage for whereas the LORD God would form man from the dust of the ground and breathe into his nostrils thus causing him to become a living soul Jesus would form clay from the dirt of the ground, would anoint this man’s eyes with that clay and would then instruct him to go and wash. In the formation and creation of Adam—that which had not previously been formed and created—the LORD God would breathe into his nostrils and cause him to become a living soul. When we speak about this man who had been born blind we do not find any mention of the breath of life but we do find mention of water and washing with that water.

 

            When I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but be absolutely and completely convinced that what Jesus did on this particular occasion was an incredible miracle for there were those instances within the gospels when Jesus would restore sight unto those who had it at one point and yet at some point in time they had become blind. If and as you read the four gospel narratives you will find there were times when Jesus would encounter those who were blind and who more often than not were beggars as a direct result of being blind. Time and time again we find Jesus healing such individuals and restoring sight into them thus allowing them to see once more. What we find in this passage, however, is Jesus not restoring sight unto this man for he had been born blind. This man had never experienced sight in his entire life and when Jesus came upon and across him on this particular day he would be given sight for the very first time. Scripture is unclear how old this man was, however, we know that he had spent his entire life blind. What’s more is that I would dare say that not only had this man been born blind but at this point in his life he would be forced to sit and beg for alms. It is truly something worth thinking about how this man’s condition—a condition which he had his entire life—would force him to the streets and would force him to beg alms from others. BLIND AND BEGGING! BEGGING AND BLIND! It wasn’t enough for this man to simply be blind for this man would also be found begging as well—something that seemed to be standard during those days for more often than not being blind would also equate with begging. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when Jesus healed this man and gave him his sight he did more than give him his sight for He would also deliver him from his need to beg.

 

            The more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth that not only did Jesus give unto this man sight but He also delivered him from begging. Undoubtedly this man had been forced to beg for alms among men time and time again for quite some time and yet on this particular day Jesus would both give unto him sight as well as deliver him from the need to beg. Scripture reveals how this man went away from the presence of Jesus blind and would return and come again seeing. Stop and think about how truly beautiful this is for when this man would depart from the presence of Jesus he would know nothing more than he had something on his eyes which he needed to wash off. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for this man when he realized there was something on his eyes and was then instructed to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. I wonder how this man would have made it to the pool of Siloam being blind as I am sure he would have needed the help and assistance of at least one other person to help him get to that pool. This man had one simple instruction given to him by Jesus and that was to go and wash in the pool of Siloam—something which he perhaps had absolutely no clue what would and could happen. I would dare say this man would go unto the pool of Siloam and have absolutely no clue what would await him there at the pool. The only thing this man knew was that he was instructed to go to the pool of Siloam and to wash his eyes from that which had been placed upon them. It would be in direct response to this man obeying the command of Jesus that after he had washed he would return again seeing. Not only this but this man would see for the first time in his entire life as the apostle John writes and records how this man was born blind and had not been able to see his entire life.

 

            What I so absolutely love and appreciate about what is present within this passage of Scripture is that it wasn’t merely about Jesus restoring sight unto this man for it is impossible to restore something that was never there to begin with. This man had been born blind and had gone through his entire life being unable to see the world around him. Imagine spending your entire life being aware of the world around you and being able to hear the world around you and not being to truly interact with it. Imagine spending your entire life being able to hear the world around you and yet not being able to see the world around you. This man had spent his entire life being aware of the world around him because he could hear it, he could speak to it, and he could touch it, and yet the one thing he could not do was see it. Imagine being able to do virtually everything with the world around you and yet being unable to actually see it. Stop and consider what it would have been like for this man to hear the world around him and yet be entirely unable to actually see it. This man had been born blind and grew up being aware of the world around him and yet he was unable to see it with his eyes. This man would grow up being able to hear the sounds of the world around him and would be able to speak with others in the world before and around him and yet he would be entirely and altogether unable to see the world with his own eyes. OH I can’t help but think about and consider how this man’s story and narrative is true of countless men and women among us within our generation—those who are aware of the world around them and yet who are unable to interact with it for one reason or another.

 

            ARE YOU ABLE TO INTERACT WITH THE WORLD AROUND YOU? If there is one thing I find myself thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s how many men and women among us are present in this world and who are aware of the world before and all around them and yet they are unable to interact with it. There is something within their lives that is preventing them from being unable to truly and fully interact with the world. What’s more is that this isn’t and might not be the same thing for each and every individual who is unable to interact with the world around them. This man was aware of the world around him and he was able to interact with it to a certain capacity as he was able to speak to others, he was able to hear the sounds all around him, and he was able to touch the world around him, yet there was one thing he could not do. Although this man could hear the world around him, although this man could speak to the world around him, and although this man could touch the world around him he could not see the world before and around him. What’s more is that this would be the testimony of this man for his entire life as he would be born blind—born without the capacity to fully interact with the world which was before and around him. Oh stop and think about how truly incredible this is for what we find in this passage is a man who had been born blind and who could interact with the world in virtually every way but one. I am absolutely and entirely convinced this is something we have great need of recognizing and understanding for there are those among us who might have been able to interact with the world around them in almost every way but one. It is true they have been able to interact with the world in almost every way possible but there was and there has been that one that which has kept them from truly being able to engage in and interact with the world around them.

 

            Permit me to ask you who might be reading these words what within your life is keeping and preventing you from being able to truly interact with the world around you. Oh it is true you might be able to interact with the world to a certain extent and to a certain capacity and yet there is that one thing in your life that is keeping and preventing you from truly being able to interact with the world before and all around you. The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I find myself coming face to face with the fact that this man was born blind and born without the ability to truly interact with the world around him. I am absolutely convinced that when Jesus gave unto this man sight He did more than simply give him the ability to see for he also gave him the ability to fully and completely interact with the world all around him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that when Jesus gave unto this man his sight he did so much more than give him the ability to see. It is true that sight is the main and underlying healing and miracle that was present in this passage, however, I am convinced that Jesus did something far greater and far more powerful than grant sight. I fully believe that what Jesus did on this particular occasion was grant unto this man the ability to be fully present and fully engaged with the world before and all around him. This man had spent his entire life being on the outside and yet I can’t even really say on the outside looking in for he had been born blind. This man had spent his entire life being present within the world and yet not being able to experience and interact with the world the way he would and could have. This man had been born blind and although he was in the world and although he was able to interact with the world to a certain capacity there was that one part of him that was unable to interact with the world the way the rest of him was able to do.

 

            ONE THING THOU LACKEST! I sit here right now thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated with the fact that this man had been born in a world which he could only interact with in a limited capacity. This man was born in a world that he could see, that he could touch and that he could speak with and yet he could not see the world. Imagine being in a world you could not see, or being in a world you could hear but could not see, or being in a world you could touch but could not see. This man was born into a world he could interact with to a certain extent and yet there was one part of him that was unable to truly, fully and completely interact with it. This is something I am convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for I firmly believe there are those among us who are present in this world and although they might be able to interact with it to a certain degree there is something within them and something within their lives that is preventing them from being able to interact with it fully and completely. I am absolutely convinced when reading the words found in this passage of scripture that there are those among us—even those within our churches and houses of worship—who are indeed and are in fact able to interact with the world all around them in a limited capacity and yet there is something that is preventing them from being able to truly interact with it. There is something within their lives that is preventing them from fully and completely interacting with the world—something which they might be aware of or perhaps something they aren’t aware of. For this man he was fully and completely aware of the fact that he had been born blind and was aware of that missing piece within his life.

 

            If there one thing we must needs understand when reading this passage of Scripture it’s that although this man was born blind he wasn’t any less of a man or a human being than anyone else. There were those who perhaps viewed this man as someone who was lesser and someone who was inferior to them. I do not believe for a single moment that there were those who were aware of this man’s presence in their society and yet did not treat him as an equal. What we must needs understand concerning this man was that although he had been born blind he was still fully human and still fully alive within the world before and all around him. This man was born blind and yet he was still born into a world fully alive and fully human just like all the others who were around him. Oh there is this tendency within our hearts and our minds to view those around us who might not be able to interact with the world the same way we are as being inferior to us and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. This man was born blind and was born into a world that he could interact with to a certain degree and yet there was one piece within his life that was missing. This leads me to ask you what one piece is missing within your life. If you were being honest with yourself right now is that one piece missing within your life the ability to see? Is that one piece missing within your life the ability to hear? Is that one piece missing within your life the ability to speak? There is not a doubt in my mind there are men and women among us within our culture and society who are able to interact with the world around them to an extent and in a limited capacity and yet there is that one thing which is clearly missing from them and from their lives. There is something within their lives that is entirely and altogether preventing them from being able to fully and completely engage in and with the world around them.

 

            It is at this point where I feel the great need to make this personal with you might be reading these words and ask you what is missing from your life—that thing which is keeping and preventing you from being to fully and completely interact with the world around you. For this man it was sight and the ability to see and yet for others it was entirely and altogether different. The world which Jesus entered into was a world that was full of individuals who were present in the world and yet there was that one thing that was preventing them from being able to fully live within and interact with it. There were those who were deaf and unable to hear and it was this one piece that was preventing them from being able to interact with the world. There were those who were lame and/or crippled and although they were able to interact with the world in virtually every other way they weren’t able to walk in the world the way others were. There were those who were lepers who were able to see, who were able to speak and who were able to hear and yet they could not interact with the world fully and completely because of the condition of their flesh. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that there were countless individuals present within the world in which Jesus entered who were able to interact with the world in virtually every way but one. Stop and think about just how incredible this reality truly is for there are countless men and women who are able to interact with the world before and all around us in virtually every way except one. There is that one thing within their life that is missing or that one thing within their life they simply cannot do which is preventing them from being able to enter into the world before and all around them.

 

            If you are truly willing to be honest with yourself right now are you willing to admit that one thing present within your life—or perhaps that one thing absent from your life—that is preventing and keeping you from being able to fully and completely interact with the world? We must needs recognize and understand that we have been called and invited to engage with the world and yet I am convinced there are certain things which might be missing within many of our lives which are preventing us from being able to fully and completely interact with the world the way we might like to and the way we might want to. I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding this man who was born blind and the fact that with his being born blind he was able to interact with the world in almost every way possible with the exception of one. Oh I cannot help but be absolutely gripped with and by the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to something which is truly unique—namely, that this man was born blind and unable to interact with the world around him in this capacity. I can’t help but wonder if this man had spent some time envious and jealous of those around him who were able to see the world before and all around them and perhaps had all of their senses. Is it possible that this particular man had spent a considerable amount of time longing and hoping for that time when he would be able to see the world around him. Oh it was indeed true he was able to hear the world around him, and it was true he was able to speak to the world around him and yet he would not be able to see the world which was before and all around him.

 

            A question I find myself asking when reading the words presented before us in this passage of Scripture is what do you feel is missing within your life that is keeping and preventing you from being able to truly interact with the world around you. Oh it might very well be true you are able to interact with the world to a certain degree, however, there is something that is keeping and preventing you from being able to do so the way you would like to. Please note and understand that this can be just as true in relationships as it can within the house of the LORD and just as true in the workplace as much as it can be true within the home. There is not a doubt in my mind there are men and women who although they are able to interact with the world in a limited capacity and to a certain extent there is something missing within their life that is hindering and preventing them from being able to do so the way they would like to. This man was born blind and as a direct result of his being born blind he would be restricted and prevented from engaging fully and completely in a world that was teeming with life. Oh this man had the full use of his feet, ankles and legs and as a direct result would have been able to walk—a truth that was evidenced by Jesus’ command and instruction to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. This man had full use of his arms, his shoulders, his wrists, his hands and his fingers as was evidenced by Jesus’ command to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. This man had full use of his tongue and the ability to speak to others, as well as full use of his ears and hearing—something that was manifested by and through his hearing the words Jesus spoke unto Him. This man would have undoubtedly had full use and full function of every one of his members and faculties with the exception of one—his sight—and it would be this which Jesus would give unto him on this day. In order for him to receive his sight, however, he would need to hear with his ears and obey the command of Jesus, as well as walk with his feet, ankles and legs to the pool of Siloam, and wash with his hands the clay which was present upon his eyes.

            I absolutely love the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that this man was born without sight and as a direct result of being born without sight he was unable to interact with the world around him fully and completely. With this being said I am entirely convinced that this man’s life and his story is a powerful picture of many within our culture and society today—those who might be present in the world and yet for one reason or another are unable to fully interact and engage with the world. There are those among us within our culture and society who although they are present within this world have something either present within their lives or something missing within their lives that is keeping them from being able to interact with the world. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that there are a number of men and women who have this one thing missing from their lives that is essentially the missing piece that not only connects them to the world but also enables them to interact with it fully. For this man who was born blind I would dare say that although he was born into this world and although he was able to interact with it to a certain degree there was something missing in his life that was keeping him detached from it and fully able to experience it. There was something present in his life—or I should say something that was missing from his life—that was hindering him from being able to fully and completely engage himself with the world into which he was born. This man was born into a world which he could not see and he would have to spend most of his life living in that world without being able to see what was all around him.

 

            I sit here this morning thinking about what is found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but think about the fact that on the one hand being unable to see might be viewed as a blessing for if you can’t see you won’t be able to see all the ugliness that is present in the world that is all around you. If you are blind you can’t see all the violence, all the bloodshed, all the injustice, all the crime(s), all the hate, and the like that is taking place all around you. If you are blind there are a number of things which others can and do see and yet which you yourself are unable to see. With this being said I would also state that there is a flip side to this particular truth—namely, that while being blind might prevent you from seeing all the ugliness that is in the world being blind also keeps you from being able to see the beauty which is all around you. It is important for us to recognize this as I am convinced that being able to see—and I mean truly being able to see—not only touches the realm of seeing the ugliness that is present in the world but also the beauty that is present in the world all around us. We must needs recognize and understand that sight and the ability to see touches the realm of both not seeing the ugly that is in the world as well as seeing the beauty that is present in the world. True sight is not only about the inability to see what we perhaps don’t want to see but also about seeing what we desire to see and what we need to see. We have a great need to recognize and understand this particular truth as sight is not only about seeing what we would like to see and what we have a desire to see but also what we might not want to see. When we speak of this man being blind we must needs recognize that his being blind not only kept him from seeing the ugliness that might have been present during those days but it also kept him from seeing the beauty that is in the world—especially during those times when the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father was present in the midst of the world.

 

            When reading the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth that although this man was permitted and capable of interacting with the world in almost every area within his life there was that one area where he wasn’t able to do so. This man had spent his entire life without this ability to interact with the world on this particular level and it wouldn’t be until Jesus showed up and made clay from the ground, anointed his eyes with that clay and instructed him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam that he would be given sight. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage it’s that when this man received sight it wasn’t restored unto him but was actually given to him. When Jesus healed this man it wasn’t a matter of restoration and giving him back something he previously had but about giving him something he never had before. What a truly awesome and powerful picture this is when you take the time to consider it as it calls and draws our attention to the fact that there are times when Jesus restores unto us that which we have lost or that which we have been living without while there are other times when Jesus gives us that which we have never had before. In the case of this man who was born blind Jesus would give him something he never had before and yet something he perhaps always wanted. How absolutely incredible and beautiful it is to read this passage of Scripture and discover how Jesus would give unto this man his sight and would give him something he never had previously within his life. When Jesus gave unto this man his sight he gave unto him something he had spent his entire life living without and I can’t help but wonder what it was like when he washed away the clay and realized he could see for the first time.

 

            I ONCE WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE! I CAN SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME! IMAGINE SEEING FOR THE FIRST TIME! I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder whether or not this particular man rejoiced when he realized he could see or perhaps even wept when he realized that he was able to see for the very first time. I can’t help but think about what it would and could have been like for this man as he would see for the very first time after spending his entire life being unable to see. I would love to know what it was like when he opened his eyes for the first time and began seeing a world he had never seen before. This man had never seen the world up until this moment and I can’t help but wonder what it looked like for him. What was it like for this man when he saw men and women before and all around him for the first time? What was it like as this man began seeing children for the very first time? What was it like to see the clouds, the sun, the blue sky, and nature which was all around him? We know that this man had undoubtedly interacted with the world around him in a limited capacity prior to this encounter with Jesus and yet for the first time in his entire life he would be able to fully and completely interact with the world. How incredibly joyful this man must have been when he opened his eyes and realized he could see for the very first time and what that sight would and must have meant to him. They say you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone, however, I would say that you don’t realize what you’ve been missing until you’ve been given what you’ve never had. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we have absolutely no clue what we have been and what we are missing until we have actually been given what we have never had before. This man had spent his entire life living in a world absent sight and on this day he would finally be granted the ability to live in the world with sight for the first time and from that day on.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to invite you to consider the fact that this man had lived in a world he could not fully interact with and yet on this day he was finally given the opportunity to interact with it in a way he never could before. I am absolutely convinced there is something truly powerful and prophetic within this passage of Scripture—namely that there are men and women among us who have been living in this world without the ability to interact with it to a certain degree and in a certain way. Such individuals have been unable to fully interact with the world because there has been something missing within their lives—something which they might be aware of or something they might not be aware of. I believe with everything in my heart there are men and women right now who have been unable to interact with the world before and all around them who the Holy Spirit desires to give unto them that which they have never had before. I believe there are countless men and women within our culture and society who the Holy Spirit desires to give unto them that which they have been missing and that which they have been lacking within their lives that they might be able to see what they’ve never seen before, hear what they’ve never been able to hear before, speak whatever they haven’t been able to speak before, and so much more. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are men and women right now whom the Holy Spirit desires to give unto them that which has been missing and lacking within their hearts and lives that they might once and for all experience what they haven’t experienced before and truly take part in life the way they have never been able to. The question we must needs ask ourselves is what has been missing from within our lives and what have we been. Living without that has kept us from being able to truly interact with the world and experience life the way we have been created and intended to. There is a wonderful and powerful invitation that is given unto men and women right now in this very hour to experience that which they’ve never experienced before and receive what they have never had before. Oh that we would truly recognize this incredible truth and would fully and completely give ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit who desires to give unto us that one thing which has been missing from our lives.

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