Monday, October 30, 2006

Show us a sign

I wonder what to think of the above statement. Here was Jesus, God in flesh, and all they wanted was a parlor trick of sorts. Well, that is most likely not very fair – many desired healing of the flesh that had tormented many of their families and friends, and even themselves, for so long. It’s not unlike using a pressure washer to clean your car – it’ll get clean, but the paint that you have may not survive the onslaught. And yet, many were healed in those days, till Jesus was tired and had to often escape. But what we find in Acts is that many, in real fact most, never made it past that initial flesh.

One of my favorite stories in all the NT is that of the blind man that was healed by Jesus. Here was someone who had for so long bore the stigma of not only blindness, but also the weight of an inheritance of sin that had “caused” it. He finds himself in an interesting spot after all of this healing goes down, as the next thing you know he is before the ruling spiritual elite. They go back and forth, with the Pharisees trying to get the man to “give glory to God, for this man [Jesus] is a sinner”. The former blind man responds to the contrary. He tells them to seek this truth – to let it define them – to call them out of their very white washed tombs – just like it called Lazarus. But they don’t want any part of it – just as the people in the fields really did not want to know this man beyond the healing that He might provide for their flesh. And he eventually is put out, or literally kicked out of the synagogue for good because he defends Jesus. He soon meets Jesus (whom we assume he has never physically seen – having been sent to the pool to wash his eyes), and soon is a believer. Jesus simply asks, much as He asks Martha two chapters later in John, “do you believe?”.

If the gospel was any simpler – I know not how. These works, these signs, are only given so that man would believe – and know this Creator once again (Jn. 10.37-38). So the sign becomes real manifested truth. Truth never really mattered to anyone before they see that man. What we knew as truth was stripped away on that day in Eden where we exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the form and knowledge of corruptible man. So He gave them over. He gave us over – but then picked us out, healed our wounds through bearing them upon Himself. Why – who really knows but Him? What we do know is that we still, after learning the truth, having seen this manifested truth – we still call out for a sign. When none is forthcoming, we find ourselves wondering about Him. In those times, maybe it would be best to go back to the blind man before the Pharisees, “…one thing I do know, that whereas I was blind, now I see”. And it’s fitting Jesus’ statement after that man’s salvation...

“For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”


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