Jesus Teaches and Heals
by David Dahl
[Jesus said,] “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes.
“I’m stuck and I’ll need a pull.” It was a distress call from a hunter who had gotten himself into a “pickle”. His four-wheel drive truck met its match when he tried to navigate a sloping drive on the way to his deer stand. The path to his stand was sloping and made of nearly pure clay. The recent rains made the clay so slick that once his truck tried to cross, it began to slide – and did not stop sliding until it hit a bank of sod and scrub brush. He was stuck!
Clay. It’s amazing and frustrating stuff. Mix it with a little water, and pure clay can become as slick as ice. Add enough water and you’ll have muck so thick you’ll lose your shoes in it if you try to walk through it.
Clay is mentioned several times in the Bible. The above reference does not make a specific reference to clay – but to mud. So I ask your pardon as I make a stretch for the sake of telling a story.
Imagine a piece of clay on a pathway somewhere in Galilee. If it could communicate with us, we would probably hear this piece of clay saying something like
“There is really not much for me to say about myself.
There is no real reason for me – a piece of clay amongst so many others.
I’ve laid on this path for ages.
For all practical purposes, no one would miss me if I were to wash away.”
Then one day, that all changed. Jesus came along. His disciples were with him.
There was also a man who could not see – blind from birth near the path they walked. He was a familiar fixture and a person subject to the judgment of others. “Rabbi”, his disciples asked. “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, not in condemnation of the man, but explaining that his blindness is an opportunity to do God’s work – and now, while the sun shines, is the time to do that work.
The Master bent down and scooped up a lump of clay. He moistened it and kneaded it with his fingers. And then he used that piece of clay to anoint the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth, instructing him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.”
And then it happened. The man who had been blind from birth was able to see for the first time in his life! The miracle lay in the piece of clay touched by Jesus.
The hunter got his miracle with a deliberate pull out of the mire delivered by a skid steer loader. A John Deere B was cheering it on. Two lumps of clay touched by Jesus delivered the save.
There are so many blind people who need a miracle performed on them. They, like us have gone through a tough season facing the stress of disease, flooding and unrest. They are looking for the touch of Jesus to bring sense to their life. You may think you couldn’t possibly be the vehicle to convey the touch of the hand of God. But the Bible gives a solid witness to what God can do with a piece of clay touched by Jesus. You are that clay.
Keep and Live the Faith. Amen!
Pr. Dave Dahl
January 10, 2024
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