Today Linda and I are packing for Israel. We’ll fly to Tel Aviv Thursday morning with Josh and Beth Bentley (Josh is one of the pastors at our church). How excited we all are to be doing this! We’re also grateful for our church family who are sending us on our way with love, prayer, and even some gifts – thank you!
We’ll land in Tel Aviv on Friday morning (they are seven hours ahead of us). We get on a bus and off we go! We’ll travel up the Mediterranean coast and head for Tiberias. We’ll stay on the Sea of Galilee for three nights, then off to the Dead Sea. Three nights there, then off to Jerusalem for 5 nights.
When we’re in Jerusalem I’m going to find the place where the man born blind was begging (John 9). I want to walk from that place to the Pool of Siloam, which has been excavated. There, at that pool, the man washed the mud from his eyes, and could see. I’ve preached four messages on this story, and feel endeared to this man. His refusal to be intimidated by the Pharisees is moving. He’s no theologian, but he knows more about God and Jesus than they do. And one thing he knows for sure; namely, that he was blind, but now he can see.
This man, to me, is “Everyman” and “Everywoman.” Slowly, his blind spiritual eyes begin to open. He knows the person who healed him is named Jesus. Then, he tells the Pharisees, as he’s being interrogated by them, that he thinks Jesus is a prophet. Later, he ends up lecturing them, and states that Jesus, this prophet, is “from God.”
Finally he’s kicked out of the synagogue community. Jesus finds him, and asks, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he?’ the man responds. Jesus says, “He’s standing in front of you.” The man falls to his knees, and maybe to his face, and says “I believe!” And he worshiped Jesus.
For this man, Jesus now became more than a name and more than a prophet. He’s even more than “from God.” The Real Jesus is the Son of Man. And what’s that? Daniel 7 tells us. Daniel had a vision of someone like a “son of man” entering the presence of the Ancient of Days (that’s God the Father). There, the Ancient of Days anointed the son of Man (= Jewish Messiah) with authority, glory, and sovereign power. Daniel sees all peoples from all races falling on their faces and worshiping the son of Man. Finally, we’re told that His kingdom shall last forever and never end.
The blind man was found, and healed, and delivered, by Jesus the Son of Man. It all happened in Jerusalem. “Jerusalem” is more than a name to me. It’s more than a home for prophets, and more than the “holy city.” Jesus walked and healed and spoke and died there. And rose from the dead there. So I will worship the living Son of Man, ask Him to do some more healing deep in my imperfect heart, and be changed in ways seen and unseen.