In Sunday School today we talked about John Chapter 9 (Jesus Heals the Blind Man) and Chapter 10 (The Good Shepherd). This year, I have been studying the assigned Sunday School scripture assignments before we go to church. It has been very insightful for me. And I now LOVE the parable of Jesus healing the blind man. There is so much I pulled from it on my own study. But I feel like it got even better at church because I came prepared--I learned so much today. Anyway, I wrote the following down in my journal after I finished reading it. I thought I would share. Keep in mind all of my references are referring to John Chapter 9--if you want to follow along! :)
First of all, I thought it was really interesting that Jesus did not just heal the blind man. (vs 1-7) Instead, Jesus spits in the dirt and makes a clay and then pastes that clay onto the eyes of the blind man. He then tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. I was thinking about this. Sometimes healing takes action on my part. The blessing is not enough, but I have to actually do something. The other thing I was thinking about with this is I wonder how many times Christ is making clay and putting it on my eyes only to have me doubt or complain. Am I willing to walk to the pool and put forth the required effort to be healed or do I just want something instant. I know I can learn a lot from this. I (1) must have faith but (2) must be willing to do my part in the healing. I need to look at the "clay covering my eyes" moments as a blessing rather than a curse.
I then like how the testimony of the blind man increases. At first (vs 11) he recounts a history log of what happened. It didn't mean very much to him other than simply explaining the facts. I know in church I have been critical of others who share history logs or travel-o-monies during testimony meeting. But hello?! I was so wrong to judge. That is a start. You have to acknowledge what happened before you can build a testimony. I know I am going to have more compassion and less judgement during future testimony meetings to those sharing it--no matter what it is.
Then the blind man (vs 17) wants to believe. After he acknowledged what happened, he wants to believe in something. He doesn't exactly know what but he does know that something miraculous happened and realizes that it is indeed a miracle. This really is the beginning of the testimony because he already established his foundation. He has the desire.
The next step (vs 33) is he believes. He has a testimony. It is not rock solid but it is definitely a testimony. And a good one. One strong enough to hold him through. I think parts of my testimony are in this stage. And then I question it because it isn't the best, the strongest, the unshakable. But it is still a testimony. And I have to remember that! Just because parts of my testimony are on this level, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. This is still a good place to be.
And finally (vs 38) the blind man knows. He knows! And he admits that and then acts on it. I think that is the key to have a rock solid testimony--once you know, you have to then do. In the future, I'm going to work hard on the doing. For example, I know the scriptures are true but a lot of times I don't really give them the time they deserve. Today I took the time to really ponder and try to connect what I read to my own life. Scripture reading transformed today into scripture study. And I am almost 100% positive this is the first time I wrote down my thoughts after finishing reading. My testimony of scripture study is growing. It is a work in process and one that I am going to keep working (and doing) at.
The last interesting thing I have been thinking about from reading this story is the way the blind man's parents respond. (vs 21) Am I afraid to share my testimony (any part of it) with others because I don't know how they will treat me? I know I have hesitated in the past. But I want to always be willing to bear record of the truth. It is not appropriate for me to do so at school but I can still live my life that way! (And I do!!!) The light will always shine from my eyes. I don't want to be like the parents--afraid and sending those with questions to someone else. My goal is to be more like the blind man and less like the parents!