A Job Only Jesus Can Do
A Job Only Jesus Could Do
Text: Mark 8:22-26
September 30, 2005
One of the most fascinating thing about the writer of the Gospel of Mark is his ability to come straight to the point. When we read Mark, we find that Jesus is always going somewhere. Not only was he going somewhere, he was going somewhere with a purpose, hence he went in a hurry. But this morning I want to take you to a text where Jesus came into a town that writer does not appear to give us any preordained reason for his stopping.
Mark tells us, that Jesus had just finished a major revival, where he spoke to about 4,000 people (Mk 8:9). Not only did he preach to them but he sponsored a free fish fry and unlike our fish fries, instead of the servers and sponsors, taking home the leftovers, he let the diners take the leftovers home. I know some Bible reader is checking me out. How do you know Jesus let the diners take the leftover food home with them. The Bible says that he “immediately” left (Mk 8:10), then we are told that the disciples “had forgotten to take bread”(Mk 8:14). Out text, this morning immediately follows this miracle story which can give us the impression that Mark is simply grouping several miracle stories together. For when you read the text again, it immediately appears to be a miracle healing. That is not to say that a traditional story of a miracle healing at the hand of Jesus is not good preaching and there is a lot that can be preached from this text.
The first verse of our text tells us that that some people brought this blind man to Jesus (Mk 8:22). There is a whole sermon that can be preached from this verse. We could expound for thirty minutes about the fact that we are God’s instruments. It is up to us to bring others to Jesus. It is up to us to take those who are blind to Jesus’ glory by the hand and lead him or her to a place where Jesus’ glory can be revealed. But looking at my sermon title, this does not fit for bring people to Christ is our job, not Jesus’.
If we read a little further, Mark tells us that when Jesus met the blind man, “he took him out of the village” (Mk 8:23). This could tell us that we have to spend some time alone with Jesus. Sometimes when we are in the midst of a storm, we may have to leave our friends and find take prayer closet where it is just us and Jesus. We have to get away from the crowd. We have to part from the naysayer and the doubters sometimes and just spent some time with Jesus all by ourselves. Yes the Bible says that the man’s friends brought him to Jesus. The Bible tells us that they made an intercessory prayer for the man, and intercessory prayer is good. There is a problem here, because the person who is praying for you may not know all that you need. If you want Jesus to know exactly what is troubling you, you have to spend some alone time with him.
Jesus takes the blind man outside of the village, but here’s a strange thing, the first time Jesus attempts to heal the man, it did not take (Mk 8:23). There is a lesson behind this. Sometimes we are standing right in front of the throne, Jesus’ healing hand is stretched out to us, but there is that little bit of doubt. And when there is doubt there is no miracle. For I have found that for a miracle to happen there has to be a faith connection. The healer has to have faith that he or she can do the healing. The person needing the healing has to have faith that the healing can happen. And Both of them have to be connected to the Father. If there is a break in the connection, the healing won’t happen. I don’t care who is praying for you, if you don’t have faith it is just going to happen.
But the story tells us that the man could see a little bit (Mk 8:24). I would think that he would have been satisfied for when you don’t have anything a little bit can be a whole lot. But aren’t you glad that we serve a God that does not do a halfway job. For Mark tells us that Jesus was not satisfied with a half complete job. Jesus does it again, and this time the healing was successful. This tells us that we have to keep on trying. It tells us that we can’t stop at just one testimony because we don’t know how close the person maybe to seeing completely. Look at the text. It says that the man could not see at all, but after the first attempt he could see something but it was not clear. We can testify and hope for clear vision, but because the person does not see Jesus as clear as we do does not mean he or she is not beginning to see. We have to keep trying.
Then the text says Jesus told the man to go home, not to go into the village. Now this can be interpreted in two ways. First, if you have been touch by Jesus, then you don’t go back to the places that you use to go. If you have been touched by Jesus, you don’t stop at the club to have an after work drink before you go home to be with your family. If you have been touched by Jesus, you don’t go and hang out on the corner with your old cronies when you should be at Bible Study. If you have been touched by Jesus, you don’t go visit with Sister Gloria or Brother George when your children are at home with their Grandmother. Jesus said go directly home, because home is supposed to be where your heart is. Home is the place where you can find true love if you give true love. Home is where your future lies and it lies with your family.
Now the second interpretation could be that once Jesus has touched you, your first obligation is to take the good news of the miracle worker, the soul cleanser, the spirit revitalizer to your family. He tells us here that you can’t take the good news on the street before you take it to your family.
There is a lot that we can get out of this passage of scripture. But how many of you know that in this day and time doctors are doing some miraculous things. People who were once blind can now see after an operation. People who would die as a result of a heart problem have their lives extended by having an operation. And they have gotten so good at it that they only leave a small scar. But it occurred to me as I read this text those good and great doctors can’t do all that healing with just some spit.
No matter where I wanted to go with this passage, I could not get pass this statement in the text, “and when he had spit on his eyes.” Bear with me for a moment, while I stretch your imagination for a moment or two. The man who was blind when he left home goes back to his family with his sight back. I can hear his wife and children asking, “How is it possible that you can now see?” I can hear his answer, “I met this man named Jesus and he spit on me.”
I don’t know about you, but I can remember when getting spit on was cause for a fight. I dare say that if someone spit on me today, I couldn’t swear that I wouldn’t be looking for a stick to use a bat against the other person’s baseball head. Come on now, none of us have been saved for so long or have hearts so filled with the Holy Spirit that getting spit upon will not cause our blood to boil. Let’s be real, when we are talking to someone with a juicy mouth, we try to get out of his or her way. Nobody wants to get spit on. I know that some us have been saved long enough that we can find the inner strength to walk away, but as we walk away we will be calling that brother or sister who spit on us some funny names. Others of us have not been saved long enough that we would not pull a Peter on the person who spit on us. We would punch that person to within an inch of his or her life. Getting spit on is worse than fighting words it’s a fighting act and we will all respond to it.
But then I remembered something that Paul once wrote, “what man intended for evil God meant for good.” Pastor, you know how God can put a thought in your mind and you don’t know why. He lead me to this “spit phrase” and knowing that is going to immediately run my dander up, he reminds me that he can make good out of anything. How many of you have lost one job only to find that God had a better one for you. How many of you had a small ticking in your car only to find out that it was a warning of a major breakdown. How many of you have given up on a friend or a relative only to find that God had to get you out of the way so a change could occur. How many you have faced the bad intends of someone only to find that God moved them completely out of your life. In the face of the things that would defeat us, I heard Paul say, “the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (Rom 8:26). Whatever we may be going through, “we know that, “God causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28). We are going to run up against the spiters if no other reason than to test out commitment to God, for Paul said, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We are considered sheep to be slaughtered. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us” (Rom 8:36-37).
Like the blind man in Mark’s story, my eyes were opened by my own person experience. As I thought about it, I remembered that it was not an unusual thing to get spit on. Oh, I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, spit was the all purpose cleanser. My grandmother, my aunt, my mother, and a few friends whose names I won’t reveal thought that spit was an all purpose cleanser. They would put a little spit on their fingers, maybe on a Kleenex, or on a handkerchief and if I were really dirty a spit directly on me to clean me up. Somebody here knows what I am talking about. I got crumbs and some grease around my mouth, out comes the all purpose cleanser. I got some ash on my knees and it showing from under my short pants, out comes the all purpose cleanser. I got a smudge on my clothes out comes the all purpose cleanser. Now I am talking about what happened to me more than forty years ago, but dare I say that some of you are still using that all purpose cleanser on your children right now.
It occurred to me why God would not let me get pass this statement “and after spitting on his eyes” he me to know and for me to tell you that when we find Jesus using his spit, something good is happening for somebody. Well, preacher what has that got to do with A Job only Jesus Can Do. If grandma and mama can clean us up with spit, why is this so special?
Well as I take my seat let me explain this thing. When Mama and Grandma cleaned you up with their spit it was only a temporary cleansing. It only lasted until they could get you home and put you in the tub or under the shower and truly clean you up. Mark is showing us the difference between a temporary cleansing and a permanent cleansing. Jesus gave this man a sample of what was to come. He gave him a temporary fix until the real fix came to pass. In a time not to far in the future this man Jesus would be hung high on a cross on a hill called Calvary and his blood would flow so that all who would come near would be washed clean. This is no temporary cleansing this is a cleansing from the inside out. The song writer said: There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins, And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.
Mark is giving us an example of what Jesus can do in our lives when he really cleans us up: He will make the stingy give up, the dirty wash up, the guilty fess up, the lame stand up, the foolish wise up, the dead rise up, the convicted shut up, the sleeping wake up, the wounded bind up, the slow speed up and the swift slow up, the saved fill up, give up and go on to His glory. That’s the job only Jesus can do and this time he is not using spit. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh! Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.