Miracles Await! So Here’s Spit in Your Eyes!
When we finally get what it means to live a simple walk of faith and focus on the Faithful One... Your Miracles Await! So Here’s Spit in Your Eyes!
Did I just really say that?
I know the above statement may sound foreign to the typical culturally relevant train of thought so allow me to lay the groundwork for some simple thoughts and conversations that I have had all by my onesie with the Lord.
Have you ever wondered “Why did Jesus use spit for some of His miracles?” Our pastor Ben touched on this some time ago and because I am a big proponent of a walk of simple faith, I have often pondered this subject and worked through some things as I converse with the Lord bout stuff.
In Mark's Gospel, somewhere near Decapolis, some people brought Jesus a deaf man who could hardly talk. Jesus healed the man, of course, but in an interesting manner; “Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue” (Mark 7:33). Later, in the town of Bethsaida, Jesus healed a blind man. Again, the miracle was preceded by spitting: “He... spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him” (Mark 8:23). To heal a man born blind, Jesus “spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes” (John 9:6).
Certainly, Jesus, the divine Son of God, does not need physical props to work miracles. In many cases, Jesus merely spoke, and healing followed (Matthew 15:28; Luke 17:12-14). Yet, in three cases, Jesus used His spittle in the process of healing. One possible reason for Jesus’ use of His saliva has to do with the beliefs of His contemporary culture. Several Roman writers and Jewish rabbis considered saliva to be a valid treatment for blindness. Since the people of that day had a high view of saliva’s healing properties, Jesus used spit to communicate His intention to heal. Those being healed would have naturally interpreted Jesus’ spitting as a sign that they would soon be cured.
Whose Faith Is Really At Work Here?
Now the verse that really jumps out at me is the one in Mark 8:23. It says, “And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.”
There are those who would say that the greater need of each of those who were healed required the need for increased, proportional faith. I like to work through this perspective differently than others may so allow me to break it down this way. I say, "It was the Faith of Jesus that produced the miracle, not the profound faith of the person being healed."
We are all equally faithless when you think through it!
One thing to consider is that each individual was equally faithless; otherwise they all would have already been healed. Then, there is the matter of spit. The last time someone spit in your eye… Did it get your attention? I believe the whole point was not to increase their faith but rather to get them to put their focus on the One who is Faithful!
For too long in life I have tried to increase my faith, speak things into existence, exert my own spiritual fortitude. Could it be that Jesus the Faithful One just wants my focus and attention? Could it be that all this time He has been taking me away from the common beliefs on matters of profound faith to get me alone, to redirect my focus off of the issues and the questions about how I am going to survive or get through the day and simply put my focus on Him?
You see… When we are weak He is Faithful! Now feel free to go get rid of all those anointed prayer cloths you paid good money for while you were waiting for your miracles.
2 Tim 2:13 NIV
“if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Could it be that the key to seeing increased but simplistic faith produced in my life is as simple as getting away with Jesus? 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In Mark 8, Jesus called this blind, faithless man away. He literally takes him by the hand and leads him out of town away from all other influence and the man begins to connect what little faith he has to the One who is faithful. Look at the flow in the process of developing simple faith. Let it saturate your heart.
First, Jesus, after spitting in this man’s eyes and putting His hands on the man, asked him, “Do you see anything?” I like that! Jesus is not expressing His own lack of faith, instead He is taking this man on a journey of anticipation and simple expectation that the work is being done. He is learning to lean on and depend on Jesus and His faithfulness. Slowly, the man begins to get it. Things are still fuzzy but he realizes there is something happening in His life. Jesus now puts His hands on the blind man’s eyes and he is fully restored.
The real miracle is not the physical eyesight being restored. It is this man embracing and understanding what a walk of simple trust and faith in Jesus is! Once this happens, Jesus tells the man, “Don’t go back!”
Mark 8:23-26 (KJV)
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
I have a real tendency to revert back to the old perspectives that would imply that my profound faith had something to do with a needed miracle. I have an old cowboy poem called Jake the Rancher. It was handed down to me by a person I call a good friend because of the simplicity that he once shared with me when I was failing miserably in my walk and ministry. His name is Gayle Erwin and this poem is a perfect example of the misunderstandings we cultivate convoluting simplicity in our walk and the work Jesus does.
Jake, The Rancher
Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence. The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense. As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go, The temperature had fallen and the snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart, from the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn't start. So Jake did what most of us do, if we'd have been there He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he knew he'd lost his luck, They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck. Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roamin' But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked -- it look just like Wyomin'.
Oh, there were some differences of course, but just some minor things, One place had simply disappeared -- the town they called Rock Springs. The BLM had been shut down, and there was no grazin' fees, and the wind in Rawlins and Cheyenne was now a gentle breeze. (cont…)
The Park and Forest Service folks -- they didn't fare so well, They'd all been sent to fight some fire in a wilderness called Hell. Though Heaven was a real nice place, Jake had a wondering mind, So he saddled up and lit a shuck, not know'n what he'd find.
Then one day up in Cody, on a cold fall afternoon, He saw St. Peter coming, and he knew he'd be there soon. Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter, Now, this line, it ain't needed but it helps with rhyme and meter.
So they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three, Nobody was keepin' score -- in Heaven time is free. "I've always heard," Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayers, But one time I asked for help, well he just plain wasn't there.
Does God answer prayers of some, and ignores the prayers of others? That don't seem exactly square -- I know all men are brothers. Or does he randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason? Maybe, it's the time of day, the weather or the season.
Now I ain't trying to act smart, it's just the way I feel, And I was wonderin', could you tell -- what the heck's the deal? Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done, There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, you're the one!
That day your truck, it wouldn't start, and you sent your prayer a-flying, You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us a trying. A thousand angels rushed to check the status of your file, But you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a while
And though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota, He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in North Dakota.
As humorous as it may seem, we go through life lacking in faith, and absent of the peace and rest that comes from the faithful one!
My final, stupid, simple, silly, observation.
Now, to further illustrate what simple faith is and that it has nothing to do with my merit, tune in to this for just one final moment. I was seated on the throne in our back throne room the other day pondering all the places I had looked for my keys over the last 45 minutes, while I did my morning business. I was late, frustrated, and had given up all hope when from my lofty perch, I threw up a prayer for a miracle. “Jesus,” I said, “You alone hold the keys, now would you help me find mine?” Three minutes later I had my keys and was on my way. I have had this scenario play out more times and in more ways than I can count now and I know you have too! You see, It is never because of our spiritual prowess or posture, rather, it is because of his faithfulness that miracles happen every day in the most naturally supernatural way.
Questions to Ponder…