Today’s Scripture: John 9
Every time I read this chapter in John, I am so thankful that spitting in the dirt and making mud to smear on someone’s eyes is NOT the only way Jesus healed blind people! Although one other time he spat into his hand and wiped it on a man’s eyes (Mark 8:23), the other times he just tells them that their faith in him has healed them (Mark 10:52), or he simply healed them (Matthew 12:22). If that spitting thing had been the only way, I’m sure we would have had some denomination of church that was titled “The Church of Jesus Christ, Spitting, and Mud Healing”!
Anyway, thinking about that takes away from the actual story, which is one of the first recorded instances of personal evangelism. When you read the story (aside from the spitting part, which is kind of gross!), you will note the whole chapter is about how Jesus changed one blind man’s life, and how he got to tell people about it.
It kind of clears away all our excuses for not telling people about Jesus. This guy didn’t even know who Jesus was when he healed him. Through a really strange set of circumstances, the beggar’s life is dramatically turned around.
He is so different that the people who knew him didn’t recognize him! Naturally, when they saw the change, they wanted to know how it happened, and he told them! He even had the courage to stand up to the religious leaders when they challenged him about what had happened and who did it. (Maybe it wasn’t so tough!) They had denied him access to the temple since birth because of his “defect.” He may not have held their opinion in high regard! Even when pressed he did not deny what had happened to him. Nor did he deny who had healed him: Jesus.
When I first came to know the Lord—when Jesus saved me and forgave all my sins—there was a dramatic difference in my life. People noticed, but not everyone was as excited about the changes as I was. I had good news and I wanted to share it. I think many people waited to see if the changes would stick. To be honest, I wondered that myself. But when people asked what had happened, I told them. Some of them even listened. CedarCreek became a great place to invite them to hear about a life with Jesus and the adventure of following him.
Like the blind beggar, I didn’t know much, but I had a story, my story. I can always tell people what trusting Jesus has meant in my life. There are deep theological questions that I still don’t have the answers to, maybe I never will. But I know God loves me and that following Jesus has made my life better. And made me better at life. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
How has being a Jesus-follower changed your life? Have people noticed a difference? When was the last time you told someone your story of what Jesus means in your life?
Write down the story of how you came to know Jesus. Read it, refine it, and create a three sentence version, a paragraph version, and a short story version. Rehearse them enough so that when people ask you about your life, you can tell them how Jesus changed it. Be prepared to offer them the same opportunity. It’s available and free of charge to anyone!
My sweet Savior, how grateful I am for the story you wrote for my life, even before I was born! When I look back on my history, I can see your sovereign hand at work, especially when I was far from you. Thank you for being the redeemer of my story. Thank you that because of who you are, there is a guaranteed happy ending. Regardless of the troubles and struggles of this life, you are present, giving me strength and hope. Give me opportunities to tell others about all you have done for me and how you long to do the same for them. I will give you all the glory, always! Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.
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