In an age of so much chatter about “finding ourselves,” it seems that what we believe about our own identities tends to be based on how we feel, what we lack, what we used to be, or how we believe others see us.
Perhaps that’s nothing new. Come along as Jesus arrives in Bethsaida . . .
Some people bring a blind man to Jesus and beg Him to heal him.
Hold up – some people? These people aren’t even friends of the blind man? Are they just some people who want to see a healing? Does it go like this?
“We need someone with a handicap. What about the blind man? Good thinking – he’ll do.”
The blind man does not appear to be anyone’s son, or brother, or friend. Later in the story we find out that he hasn’t even always been blind, but his former sighted-life seems to be irrelevant to some people – he’s the blind man now. Today he’s living out his new normal, defined by what he lacks, who he no longer is, and how others see him. Blindness is his identity in Bethsaida. . . until today.
Today is the day the Son of God speaks truth and power into the blind man’s identity, and this is where the story gets good.
Jesus takes the blind man by the hand and leads him away from some people until it’s just the two of them – as if no one else in the world exists.
Jesus spits and touches the blind man’s eyes.
The familiar darkness recedes as the man opens his eyes to a shadowy world, and his identity transformation begins . . .
Instead of the usual instantaneous healing, this one is more of a process and I wonder if that’s not the most wonderful part of the encounter.
The experience of the process slows . . . time . . . down.
It gives him time to savor the touch of Jesus, to absorb the change in his identity as it happens, and to burn a minute-by-minute testimony into his soul.
Again Jesus lays His hands upon the eyes of the man.
This time clear and bright 20/20 vision is restored and Jesus leaves him with this:
Don’t go back to some people. Go home instead. Take time to treasure the revelation of your new identity in your heart before it becomes the talk of the town.
What do you believe about your identity?
It’s natural in the Valley to behold our new identities in negative terms:
the isolated one, the burdened one, the fearful one, the exhausted one
This week I challenged myself to examine the flipside. I asked Jesus to help me see signs of His touch and blessing in my new identity. It was a powerful exercise.
I saw things like:
growth in spiritual maturity,
hunger for God’s word,
I challenge you to try it for yourself this week and then answer this question:
What is the truth about your identity?
Like the blind man, your identity is important to Christ.
Ask Him what He sees.
Align your view of yourself with His.
And be refreshed.
See you next week.