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Scripture: John 9:1-41 (cf. verses 1-14)
Title: The LORD'S MUD People
Proposition: M.U.D. – 1. People MADE by God 2. UNITED in Jesus 3. Co-partners in the LORD'S DESIGN (Salvation/Healing)
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world. I am so glad you are with us this morning!
One of the greatest blessings in life is that of being a mom or dad. Psalm 127:5 shares that "Blessed is the person whose quiver is full of them… " Rebekah and I have been blessed with three wonderful children; Joshua, Danielle and Katherine.
We all understand that each child is unique and each gender is unique. This morning if you have a girl or a boy you know what I am talking about. You know there is some differences in raising a son or a daughter. Each gender has their own distinctiveness and particularities.
Girls usually enjoy doing different things than boys. With our girls I enjoyed tea parties, manicures and was the practice person for all kinds of make-up and hair styles. All of that kind of playing was new for me. I am the youngest child of my family and my sisters are quite a bit older. More than likely I was their live baby doll that they got to take care of for our mom. I don't remember any tea parties or manicures.
Perhaps the most unusual thing that I ever had to do happened one day when Danielle was playing cook. We were outside working when she decided that she needed to make some mud pies. That is to say, she decided that she needed to make me some mud pies. Everything went well until she also decided that I needed to take a bite of her mud pies.
I did my best to attempt to fool her in taking a bite. I tried breaking off a piece of it and tossing it away acting like I had really eaten it. But then she caught me. She looked so hurt and sad that I would not take a bite of her pie. So, I figured a little dirt really wouldn’t hurt that much and so I took a small bite of her mud pie. Sure enough it tasted just like I thought it would; sloppy wet dirt.
She was ecstatic. She had made something for me and I had eaten it. She was so happy that it made the whole experience worthwhile. It wasn’t too long after that we decided that it was time for her to get an EASY-BAKE OVEN. That way at least what she fixed wouldn’t be mud – it might be a little burnt – but at least it would not be mud.
Mud is an interesting mixture. In John chapter nine we read the story where Jesus made some clay mud. He picked up some clay dirt in his hands, mixed in a little spit and made some mud. He then put the mud on the blind man’s eyes. After that, he then told the man to go and wash the clay mud off in the pool of Siloam and then he would receive his sight.
The man followed Jesus' instruction to the letter. He went as quickly as he could to wash in the pool and for the first time in his life he was able to see. Never before had he experienced what it meant to physically see the world around him. This was an unheard of miracle. This was a miracle many believed was greater than raising someone from the dead. The prophets Elijah and Elisha were reported to have brought people back to life, but, never had anyone been able to give sight to a man who had been born blind.
John chapter nine is full of a great many spiritual truths. There is of course the story of Jesus great healing power. There is Jesus sharing the revelation that He is the light of the world. There is the witness of this man's faith, trust and obedience. There is the revealed truth concerning generational sin and how to properly obey the Sabbath.
Over the years, I have studied and meditated on this particular miracle a great deal. I wanted to live in the moments of this story. I have desired to know what the man experienced in being able to see for the very first time. I sought to know how he felt when he heard Jesus reveal to him that He was the Son of Man. I wanted to know how he worshipped Jesus. And I wanted to know more about this mud that Jesus used to bring about healing and wholeness.
For that is the part of the story I would like for us to lift up this morning. As I was praying, studying and meditating on this story, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to look at the mud. To look at this mixture of clay soil and spit and how it was used by Jesus to bring healing and wholeness. In particular, this morning to see how we can be God's Mud that He can use to bring healing and wholeness to the lives that surround us.
And as I thought about that mud, suddenly, the Holy Spirit asked me some simple questions:
a. Will you allow yourself to be mud in my hands?
b. Will you allow your life to be mud in my hands to be used so that someone else may experience light?
c. Will you allow your life to be mud my hands in order that someone else may experience wholeness, so that someone else may experience what it means to call me Savior and Lord?
This morning, let's see what lessons the LORD wants to teach us about M U D. For M U D reminds us:
1. We are all MADE by the Lord Himself
2. Miracles happen when we UNITE with Jesus
3. Co-partners in the LORD'S DESIGN (Salvation/Healing)
I.M U D - reminds us that we have all been MADE by the LORD HIMSELF
The Holy Spirit reminded me that even as mud is made of dirt, so too have we human been fashioned out of the soil of our earth. All of us are God's dirt.1
Genesis 2:7 (ESV) reveals to us that the LORD GOD took some of the dirt of the earth He had created and fashioned the first human being and named him, Adam. The word Adam in Hebrew means "to be red" referring to the red soil (clay) that God used to fashion the first man. Each time Adam heard or used his name it was a reminder that he was from the earth and that he was God's personal creation.2
"7then the LORD GOD formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."
Our LORD GOD took some simple clay soil and fashioned the first human being and put within Him the breath of life. Adam was therefore one part earth and one part Spirit. Later on God refined some of that "Adam dirt" and created Eve.
21So the LORD GOD caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD GOD had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Genesis 2:21-23 ESV)
From that time on, those first two human beings, made of simple dirt and Spirit were given the ability to create, to think and to live a life pleasing to God. They were to go and "... be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28 ESV). What started off as simple particles of red dirt, God fashioned to be one of His greatest creations - humankind.
Sadly, the Bible tells us that one day our physical bodies must return to the earth. As a result of mankind's sin, we must all die and our bodies shall return to the earth. Our physical bodies will decompose back into dust. From dust we came and from dust we shall return.
19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:19 ESV)
Like MUD this morning, we are all part dirt but we are more than just dirt, for we are also spirit.
II. M U D - reminds us that miracles happen when we are UNITED with Jesus
Something remarkable happens when dirt and water unite. Dirt is transformed into a whole new substance, mud. Now, mud is nothing that special unless it is mud that has been fashioned by Jesus Himself. For when that dirt was united with the living water from Jesus it became more than just mud. It became a substance that brought healing and wholeness.
I wonder how many people that day just saw a man spit on some dirt and make some mud. Not really anything special. And yet what they really witnessed was the very living water of God mixing with the dirt of His creation in forming a way to bring wholeness and healing to the life of this man.
Why did Jesus create mud this way? Why did Jesus use this method to bring about healing? No one really knows but there have been through the years been all kinds of conjectures and theories. Some scholars say Jesus used this method because at that time people believed that certain people’s spittle contain healing qualities. It was said that the spittle of a first born son could in fact, contain healing qualities. Others point out that using spittle was a common medical practice used by some physicians. These physicians believed that human spittle contained certain healing qualities and they would place their spittle on their patients wounds. Still others point out that there are were ancient stories of a holy man who would spit on the eyes of those who had sight problems and they would be cured.
We really do not know why Jesus employed this method. All I know is that he did. All we know is that the dirt became useable and holy in the hands of Jesus. That dirt was united with the living water from Jesus and became holy mud. It allowed itself to be turned into something more than just dirt and more than just mud. It became a substance that brought light and life into this man.
I believe that is the message we are to receive from this passage. Back in the Garden we saw how in God took some dirt and fashioned Adam, a living human being. Now, in the hands of Jesus this dirt has been transformed into a vessel that is able to bring healing and wholeness. Simple dirt, united with the living water of Jesus becomes sanctified and possesses supernatural abilities.
All of this reminded me of the story that we find in John chapter four when Jesus talked to the woman at the Well. Jesus told her that He could give her living water.
13Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13-14 ESV)
And then in John 7:37-38 we read:
37On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (ESV)
What Jesus did with that dirt by mixing His living water can happen in each of our lives this morning. Jesus can take our lives (dirt) and transform them with His living water. We can become holy and sanctified mud. Holy mud that Jesus can then use to bring healing and wholeness to the lives around us.
All of this leads us to a final thought about M U D and it is this:
III. M U D - The Lord DESIGNS us to co-partner with Him in Salvation
As the Holy Spirit spoke to me about all of this, it lead to a soul searching question. Would I allow God to unite with me and co-partner with Him in bring healing and salvation to our world?
Immediately, I first thought "YES, who wouldn't?" And then the Holy Spirit lead me back to the passage to take a deeper look. At first I thought sure – why not? But then it hit me. What happened to that mud in our story? It got washed off – it did its job and then was washed off into the Pool of Siloam. It was simply just a part of the story. The man did not save a part of it and put it in a vessel to put up on a shelf somewhere. He simply obeyed Jesus and went and washed it off – it was gone. It was simply something that Jesus used to bring healing to another person.
Suddenly I realized what the Holy Spirit was asking. He was asking if I would totally commit and surrender my life in the hands of Jesus in order that He could bring salvation and healing to another. Would I allow Jesus to so unite with my body, soul and spirit that I could be used in any way He felt necessary to bring about healing and salvation into the life of another human being?
All of a sudden I was taken aback. Suddenly, it all became clear. The Lord was asking me to co-partner with Him in His ministry of salvation. He was asking if He could take my dirt, mix it with His everlasting life and then use me in His design to save humanity.
I found myself praying - "Lord, do you mean you want me to be Your MUD and be used in any way You choose? You want me to surrender my life to you so that others may find everlasting light and life? You want me to co-partner with You to bring about salvation and healing to our world? Then Lord take my life, my dirt and use it to Your Glory and for Your Kingdom."
You see it is one thing to be God’s Dirt. By nature all of us are that; we come from the dust of the ground and we shall return to the dust of the ground.
We all know the joy of being united with Jesus. To be united with the Lord's Living Water –to be transformed by His Holy Spirit – to be One with Christ. We rejoice in that uniting. We are forever transformed by being united with Jesus.
However, to be invited to co-partner with God's DESIGN in saving the world is an honor greater than any of us could ever imagine.
Jesus tells us in John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
This morning, our LORD calls all of us to be His M U D. He calls all of us:
a. Acknowledge that we have been made/created by Him
b. To unite with His living water. To receive Him as our Savior and Lord
c. To surrender our lives to His Design and Desire to bring salvation and healing to all the people of our earth.
This morning, we are all invited to be co-partners with Him in saving our world. He does not need us but He loves us so much that not only did He die for us, He has called us to be filled with His Holy Spirit so that we can co-partner with Him in saving His world (Matthew 28:16-20).
I discovered that this story was more than just a healing story. It was a story of love and invitation. It is a story that invites all of us to be more than creation's dirt. It is a story that invites all of us to be M U D in the Lord's hands bringing about salvation and healing in our world.
This morning, will you give your life to Christ to be His M U D? Will you surrender all that you have and place your dirt in His hands to co-partner with Him in saving His world? Will you join billions of others who have already said Yes, Lord, Yes to Your Will and to Your way!\
1See the following chart - wikipedia.orgwikiComposition_of_the_human_body
2(Hebrew אדם ('adam)meaning "to be red").