No Spitting!

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No Spitting!

 

 

 

Question: what’s the rudest thing you can do to someone in about three seconds? Go.

Did you know…
“Social attitudes towards spitting have changed greatly in Western Europe since the Middle Ages. Then, frequent spitting was part of everyday life, and at all levels of society it was thought ill-mannered to suck back saliva to avoid spitting. By the early 1700s, spitting had become seen as something which should be concealed, and by 1859 many viewed spitting on the floor or street as vulgar, especially in mixed company. Spittoons were used openly during the 19th century to provide an acceptable outlet for spitters. Spittoons became far less common after the influenza epidemic of 1918, and their use has since virtually disappeared, though each justice of the Supreme Court of the United States continues to be provided with a personal cuspidor.”

-Also for the warding off of the Evil Eye- often mothers would gently spit at their children’s sides.

 

Today we are going to look at a time when Jesus spits at someone- and a lot of people get really upset about it…

 

John 9 The Message (MSG)

True Blindness

9 1-2 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

3-5 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.” (Gen. Rev.)

6-7 He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw. (The guy was blind, not deaf- so, um, he could hear the disciples the whole time… so it makes you wonder just how many times he had heard that very same question…)

8 Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?” (Was he a professional beggar or did the family simply just not care about him?)

9 Others said, “It’s him all right!”

But others objected, “It’s not the same man at all. It just looks like him.”

He said, “It’s me, the very one.” (how many times do we pass that one corner or on/off ramp where the beggars of our day hold signs? I also kinda wonder if this will be a bit like heaven for all of us at first- is it REALLY so and so??)

10 They said, “How did your eyes get opened?”

11 “A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ I did what he said. When I washed, I saw.”

12 “So where is he?”

“I don’t know.” (This guy seems simple and honest.)

13-15 They marched the man to the Pharisees. This day when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness was the Sabbath. The Pharisees grilled him again on how he had come to see. He said, “He put a clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “Obviously, this man can’t be from God. He doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” (Obviously this person can’t be a Christian- they are doing so and so- be aware. Think about how this reveals the religious people’s hearts and motivations…)

Others countered, “How can a bad man do miraculous, God-revealing things like this?” There was a split in their ranks.

17 They came back at the blind man, “You’re the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you say about him?”

He said, “He is a prophet.” (probably the safe answer given the circumstances- but that’s all the healed man really had to go on at the moment if you think about it.)

18-19 The Jews didn’t believe it, didn’t believe the man was blind to begin with. So they called the parents of the man now bright-eyed with sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? So how is it that he now sees?” (keep your eyes peeled- how many God-made miracles do we miss today because of similar attitudes…)

20-23 His parents said, “We know he is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we don’t know how he came to see—haven’t a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don’t you ask him? He’s a grown man and can speak for himself.” (His parents were talking like this because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders, who had already decided that anyone who took a stand that this was the Messiah would be kicked out of the meeting place. That’s why his parents said, “Ask him. He’s a grown man.”) (Maybe this is why their son begged on corners most of his life… because they valued religious, and or social inclusion more)

24 They called the man back a second time—the man who had been blind—and told him, “Give credit to God. We know this man is an impostor.” (Word traps)

25 He replied, “I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind . . . I now see.” (Testimony. Your own story of how Jesus is healing you is so potent)

26 They said, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” (Sometimes people are jaded to anything but their assumed solutions)

27 “I’ve told you over and over and you haven’t listened. Why do you want to hear it again? Are you so eager to become his disciples?” (GALL)

28-29 With that they jumped all over him. “You might be a disciple of that man, but we’re disciples of Moses. We know for sure that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this man even comes from.”

30-33 The man replied, “This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of—ever. If this man didn’t come from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.” (How did this man know this? Was it the holy spirit giving him the words- was it something he picked up begging in front of church?)

34 They said, “You’re nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!” Then they threw him out in the street.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man said, “Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You’re looking right at him. Don’t you recognize my voice?” (God)

38 “Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped him.

39 Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.”

40 Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.”

 

And so Jesus made a man that day.

 

Beggars:

“Beggarly,” in Gal. 4:9, means worthless.

A beggar was regarded and abhorred as a vagabond, a drifter. In later times beggars were accustomed to fixed places: street corners, temple gates, or even private houses. Just ask any kid trick-or-treating and they’ll tell you which house you HAVE to go to for the good stuff.

 

Expectation OF SUPERNATURAL POWER TO HEAL BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD.

Dr. Trumbull and the very interesting situation which he discovered in the Orient. He says: “One of the universal expectations in the East is the cure of disease through the supernatural power of some reputed representative of GOD.” A blind beggar was given an orange and a crust of bread, but he pointed to his sightless eyes, and asked Dr. Trumbull to cure his blindness. He thought that this traveler was a representative of GOD who could heal him. Such is the faith that exists in the East, in modern times.

 

And now- the question we’ve all been waiting for… “Why did Jesus spit for some of His miracles?”

 

Answer: Near Decapolis, some people brought Jesus a deaf man who could hardly talk. Jesus healed the man, of course, but in an interesting manner: “Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.” Later, in the town of Bethsaida, Jesus healed a blind man. Again, the miracle was preceded by spitting.

One possible reason for Jesus’ use of His saliva has to do with the beliefs of His contemporary culture. Several Roman writers and Jewish rabbis considered saliva to be a valid treatment for blindness. Since the people of that day had a high view of saliva’s healing properties, Jesus used spit to communicate His intention to heal. Those being healed would have naturally interpreted Jesus’ spitting as a sign that they would soon be cured.

The greater need of each of those healed was the need for increased faith. Jesus recognized this spiritual need and offered a physical action as a means of raising their expectations and focusing their faith on Himself. Thus, in Mark 8, the man’s spiritual sight was strengthened even as physical sight was imparted to him.

It is possible that Jesus’ use of mud in John 9 was meant to parallel God’s original creation of man: “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). In other words, Jesus showed His power as the Creator by imitating the original creation of man: He used the “dust of the ground” to give the man born blind new sight. The creative power of Jesus’ miracle was not lost on the man who was healed: “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9:32-33, NKJV).

 

Do You Feel Like A Beggar?

Worn out?

Used up?

Tired, broken, poor, hurting, needy?

 

Isaiah 41:8-10

“But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

 

people make gods, Jesus makes people.

 

Jesus will and is taking ways he knows we understand in order to communicate to us. I am here. I will heal you. I am God. I put it all in perspective. So TRUST me.

 

What do you need to trust him with today?

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