i’m supposed to think about journeys. so instead of going to walmart with friends i’m going to ponder what a journey is both in dictionaries and in life (for the two aren’t always mirror images) and i’m going to use this space to do so. of all the spaces i enjoy, this virtual world is quite enjoyable. i’m connected to the you who read this yet not. i don’t know when you’re reading it and even when you do i can’t dialogue with you in real time. so i’m in my own world. consequently i don’t always make sense coz i’m not taking the time to process and no one is questioning anything i say in the moment.
so back to the title…sermon. my sermon is about journeying with Jesus. don’t worry i won’t call it that. i do have a little more creativity in my bones. i think i may call it “outside the village” or “beyond Bethsaida” or maybe “the village” but that sounds too much like “village voice” which is a chicago zine.
i’m fascinated by Jesus’ complex healing approach. he could have just touched the blind man. the people who brought the man to Jesus knew that which is why that was all they requested. they didn’t as that he be healed. they just asked the Jesus touch the man coz they knew that a touch from Jesus meant wholeness. so Jesus touches but doesn’t heal. he takes the man’s hand and leads him outside the village–Bethsaida.
why outside? perhaps it’s happenstance? nope. coz at the end Jesus clearly instructs the man not to go into the village. so there’s something wrong with the village. what’s wrong? it’s filled with people who lack faith. in Luke 10 we read:
13″Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement than for you.
15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
crazy huh? well, to us who have the luxury of reading the entire bible, who have the advantage of many stories to rest our faith upon, it does seem a bit crazy that anyone wouldn’t believe after seeing all that Jesus did. but it’s an age old problem God could make a really clear appearance in my life every day for 10 days and i’d still probably come up with reason to question the veracity of the experience. was it really him? was it my over-active imagination? etc.
Jesus didn’t want the man he was about to heal to be healed in a space where a bunch of unconverted souls with no excuse existed. Jesus wanted the man in faith-space, in salvation space. coz when Jesus heals, he saves. he’s more concerned with our eternal salvation anyway than with our physical state. that’s why he healed the paralytics sins before healing his body. heal is another word for save. beautiful huh?