Today I am asking for help. This Sunday I am teaching the New Testament lesson in Gospel Doctrine (Sunday School) at church. The lesson focuses on John 9 and while it is an undeniably moving chapter, I am having a tough time putting my feelings in a coherent form.
John 9 focuses on Jesus’ miraculous healing of a blind man. Jesus declares ‘I am the light of the world’ and then spits on the ground, making a clay which he applies to the blind man’s eyes. After the man washes in the pool of Siloam he rejoices saying ‘whereas I was blind, now I see!’.
Such a dramatic healing is without a doubt one of the most amazing miracles in the New Testament. I suppose where I am struggling is why Jesus chose this man? There must have been thousands of blind people in Jerusalem, why heal this man? Was it just to prove a point about healing on the sabbath to the Pharisees? Was it to because Jesus knew the man would be such a diligent missionary? Was the man somehow more worthy or faithful than other blind people?
Also, why did Jesus feel a need to go through the spitting and the clay ceremony? I can find no similar ordinance or practice in any other scripture story? Biblios says that making clay with spittle was part of many spells and incantations of the day, so it may have been Christ’s way of refuting superstitions and myths? Perhaps he was doing this just to prove that his laws and methods do not follow the worlds?
I guess in going through such difficult health problems I find it tough to teach about miracles. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in them and have faith in my Heavenly Father, but I just wonder why? Why are some people seen as worthy of healing and others struggle so? Is there anything I could do to be more worthy? I know my faith can always be strengthened. It is never a finished transaction but it seems strong. I have never wavered throughout my life in my belief in Jesus Christ’s atonement or His love for me. I know He loves me and it is His love that has carried me through these hard months.
Still, I don’t understand why when I am trying to do such a noble thing as get in shape I am confronted with so many obstacles? I know someday it will make sense but right now I am forced to go with faith alone. Perhaps that is what He is teaching me? It wouldn’t be the first time. There have been many times in my life when I faced unknowns and only years later did I understand why I needed that lonely experience.
For example, my emotionally abusive missionary companion comes to mind. At the time I could not comprehend why the Lord had abandoned me when I was showing such faith as his obedient servant. Why when others have such positive training experiences did I get this sister? It was only later in my mission that I saw those months in a new light. It was during those lonely times that I turned to the Lord the most; thereby, making me a strong and powerful missionary. The last six months of my mission were full of converts, amazing companionships, and powerful experiences and I believe that was a direct reward from the Lord for my faith during those tough months.
There are also experiences which I still don’t understand. For instance, why did I have to gain weight at 9 years old- at an age when I was practically helpless to solve the problem? Why did I have to be picked on and made fun of? Was that just to make me strong and independent? If so, why is that independence so important to my character? Couldn’t there have been another way? God and Jesus Christ know all and evidently the answer is No, but I am not going to pretend like I understand all the why’s behind that No!
I guess in the end I just wish I was one of the lucky one’s. I am a little envious of the blind man and of every other healing I read about. I want that to happen to me! I believe it could happen. I have faith in miracles but I do not feel it will happen. I just know there are no easy solutions to this problem- no miracle drug, no quick fix diet, no exercise that will change everything. For some reason the Lord wants me to chisel away at this bit-by-bit. I wonder why? What is He trying to teach me? At this moment, I don’t know. I will someday.
Anyway, those are some of the issues I am struggling with in crafting this lesson. If any of you have any thoughts about John 9 or healing in general I would love to hear them. Also if you have any suggestions for teaching others when you are the one with all the questions that would be great! How do you show the confidence to instruct others when you are unsure yourself? You can post thoughts as a comment or if it is too personal email/call me. Thanks in advance.