I Once Was Blind

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

There is a story told in the Bible in the book of John Chapter 9 about the healing of a blind man by Jesus. The man had been blind since birth and at that time in history, people falsely believed sin had caused the blindness.

For the sake of my illustration, I’m going to call the man Simon.

bing imagesJesus spat on the ground, made mud with the spittle, placed it on Simon’s eyes, and told him to go wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam.

So Simon went, washed, and came back seeing.

Simple as that.

When Simon’s neighbors and those who knew him as a beggar saw he was no longer blind, they questioned if it was indeed Simon, or someone who just looked like him.

“This can’t be Simon. He’s blind. Always has been. Always will be.”

“It is me! I can see!” Simon probably shouted.

“How’d you get your sight?”

Simon told them all about what Jesus had done.

The custom of the day was to present yourself before the religious leaders when healed. bing imagesSo Simon’s neighbors took him before the Pharisees.

“How’d you get your sight?” they asked.

Simon told his story again.  “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”

Because Jesus healed Simon on the Sabbath the Pharisees were livid. They weren’t excited and happy for the miraculous healing. Nope. They were upset because it occurred on a day they said healing could not take place.

Are there ever times when we question whether someone we’ve know for a long time could possibly change for the better, the way Simon’s friends questioned that he wasn’t the blind beggar they’d always known?

Do we want to define them as who they were? Not who they have become once in contact bing imageswith Jesus? Do we only remember them for the times they failed, constantly reminding them of their failures, and refuse to believe they could succeed? Are we unwilling to accept they have changed?

Jesus redeemed Simon from a life of blindness. Not only did Jesus restore Simon’s physical sight, but upon Simon’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah, he received spiritual sight, as well.

Jesus came into this world to pay the price to redeem each of us from our sins … from our spiritual blindness. When we follow Jesus as our LORD and Savior, he gives us spiritual sight. As a result, we become new creations in him.

Jesus told the man who was born blind to go wash, and he did. His healing came after he was obedient. Same with us. Our healing also comes after obedience.

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“Yes, Lord,” the man said, “I believe!” And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I have come into the world to give sight to those who are spiritually blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

The Pharisees who were standing there asked, “Are you saying we are blind?”

 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But your guilt remains because you claim to know what you are doing.  John 9:38-41 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Don’t Allow the Past to Hold You Back

 Bing photosI have a friend who allows his past to continue to hold him back. He’s unable to move beyond the failure, and move his life toward success.

Another friend swapped one addiction for a different one. She knows it, but is still entrapped.

One friend puts up a big bravado-front, like everything is all honky-dory, but it isn’t. Inside he’s falling apart.

Maybe you have friends like this, too. Maybe you are like my friends.

bing photosWhile our pains are real, and the hurt runs deep, we trap ourselves in shackles of our own making when we refuse to forgive ourselves. Forgive others. Or when we continue to heap guilt upon ourselves. We believe we deserve to feel bad. After all, we messed up. The past looms, unforgiving.

If we are children of the One True Living God, this kind of thinking is detrimental.

We’ve been redeemed. Washed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, our Messiah. Past mistakes, mess-ups, failures are behind us when we claim him as our Lord and bing photosSavior.

Others may try to keep reminding us of the times we got off track, but that’s their problem. Not ours. We need to turn a deaf ear to them. (Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t extend restitution or ask for forgiveness when needed. I’m taking about when we keep beating ourselves up over stuff we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over.)

Most of what we do is learned behaviors. Maybe it’s time to let go of the worthless things we’ve picked up along the path of life, and grab onto the Truth. Time to tell the ghosts that haunt us to hit the road. Get lost. Move on. So we can be the person God created us to be.

Christ fought our battle for us, and He won. We aren’t made worthy by anything we’ve done, or ever could do. It’s all about Jesus.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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