Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Just Healed... Restored!

I once watched a medical program that highlighted all of the technological advances used to grant individuals increased vision. One particular case was very interesting.

There was a man who had become blind at a very young age. Decades later, the blind man was given an opportunity to have his vision restored. After the procedure, his vision was returned to him, but he still walked with a cane and had extreme difficulty making out objects and working with depth perception. What was wrong with his vision? Nothing.

Doctors have discovered that our early years are spent learning what the images from our eyes mean. We learn depth perception and object relationships through trial and error as toddlers. Deprived of this early development, the man was without the ability to process the new kind of information that he was now receiving. Anyone who has their vision restored after long periods of blindness has a long road of rehabilitation ahead as they toil to be able to see properly.

The man was healed, but his vision was not instantly restored... he has years of rehabilitation and learning to do. Not all blind men have had to struggle with this issue.

John 9:1-11 [ESV]

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he." Others said, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the man." So they said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed and received my sight."

The miraculous works of Christ Jesus are complete. The man was not just healed... his vision was restored! Christ did not only remove the disability, He compensated for the man's weakness and inability. Not only could the man make out fuzzy patches of light, the man was given sight. What a miracle! Perfect in its mercy and perfect in its provision to meet every need.

This is the Jesus that I meet at the place of forgiveness. In the waters of baptism, at the Lord's Supper, and in the privilege of confession, I am not just healed, but I am restored! I am not just forgiven, I also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that builds my faith. Faith not only saves me, it also fills my heart with new passions and the desire to do good works. I receive a double blessing: my sin is forgiven and I am strengthened in the faith. My blindness is not just removed... I receive my sight.

By faith I am not just healed... I am restored.

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