Monday, April 25, 2011

St. John's Chapter 9

We were reading this chapter in the New Testament last night, but it was what was happening in my home right before reading this chapter, that made these passages extra profound and beautiful. I was in a grumpy mood. Our pretty expensive camera has been lost now for a couple of weeks now. The last time we had seen it, our two year old was walking down the hall with the camera in her hand. My iPod was also missing. It was the end of the day. Our house already has a baseline of too much clutter, but we tend to oscillate around the baseline quite widely. This night was no exception. I was barking orders grumpily at my kids trying to get them to pick up their mess, while I kept looking for both the iPod and the camera.

Low and behold, I found both under our bed. Still grumpy, but a little less so, we basically picked up most of the stuff. My wife was now in a bad mood, taking my frustrations at our mess very personally - not totally realizing that I am much more responsible for our mess than she is. Anyway, I embarked on our family scripture reading, St. John Chapter 9. I decided at random, to inject our problem right into the scriptures to see what would happen, and guess what?

"1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a family which was messy from the beggining.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this family or their parents, who failed to teach them how to keep house?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this family sinned, nor their parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in them.
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the house of this family with the clay,
7 and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Silo'am, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
8 The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that they were a complete mess, said, Is not this he that lived in squalor?
9 Some said, This is them: others said,they look like them, but they said, we are they.
10 Therefore said they unto them, How was thou house cleaned?
11 They answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed our house, and said unto us, Go to the thy house and wash and we washed, and we knew how to keep our house clean and organized.

This resonated with me because we are all born with struggles and weaknesses - not because we're bad or sinful. It's just because we are human. And the way to achieve growth is through our faith, and through that faith, our weaknesses can be removed, not because of anything we do, but "so the works of God can be made manifest".

I'm wondering how many of us are taking advantage of these sorts of gifts. We all have blind spots. We can also be healed.


tempe turley said...

This was lovely, Scott. If only it were only that easy. ;-)

H said...

I'd like to come back to this and try to understand it better. I love that you were making the scriptures personal. That's what it's all about, right? Apply the scriptures to our lives. The thing that immediately came to mind was:

1 Corinthians 9:22-23
"22 To the weak became I as weak , that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."

I don't know how that fits in, or if it does. Maybe it is the complete opposite, I don't know. Thanks for the post, Scott!

H said...

I guess if we all became weak and blind it wouldn't do anyone any good, would it? Maybe that thought was just so we can have compassion and charity towards those that have challenges. Ya know, I've had a messy house before and have lost my phone amongst the toys and the clutter myself... I feel your frustration, completely!

I was thinking more about the blind man and how he didn't choose to be blind. You're right, we all do have blind spots or weaknesses, and we probably didn't choose to have them. I wonder if it is more important to overcome them or to develope our other gifts to bless the lives of others. Like, what if the blind man had used his great hearing to make a better life for himself? Is he more or less humble living a beggars life waiting to be healed? The parable of the talents teaches us to develope the skills we have to gain more and serve the Lord better.

(I had a question on your next post too, but your comments aren't available)

tempe turley said...


I think both of your thoughts are good and relevant. Obviously, this is complex. Some people Jesus heals, others he doesn't. Sometimes we linger with weaknesses and have to learn how to cope with them, others we can overcome.

I think all things are possible. Thanks for the comments. On my next post, I'm not sure why comments aren't available.. It's strange. Something with blogger - my settings allow for them. Not sure, right now, how to fix it.