Jesus is walking (I love that Jesus did multiple things at one time. He was heading somewhere, he was usually teaching as he went, and he often embraced the opportunity to heal along the way. He was the ultimate maximizer.) As he is walking with his best friends, they see a blind man, and Jesus decides to heal this man in a very unconventional way. “After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes” (John 9:6). Now, why do you suppose Jesus did that? I’m asking a question; I don’t know the answer. It’s interesting because Jesus healed other blind men just by speaking. He called Lazarus back from the dead by speaking. One word from Jesus and everything changes. So why the spit? Good thing this gentleman couldn’t see what Jesus was doing or he probably would have objected. “I’m good, Jesus. I thought maybe you were going to do like you did with everyone else and simply tell me to be healed or let me touch your clothes. I didn’t realize I was going to get mud balls in my face. I’m good. Thanks anyway.”
It’s difficult to look at how Jesus performed this miracle and not object. It seems harmful to rub mud made with spit in a man’s eyes. Unsanitary to say the least…
But I want to propose something to you. I thought this was offensive at ﬁrst myself—and then my wife explained something to me from her short-lived nursing career. She explained that DNA is the set of traits, qualities, or features that characterize a person. It’s what makes your eyes blue, your hair dark, your skin olive, your second toe longer than your ﬁrst toe. Essentially, DNA is what makes you… you.
Now if someone wanted to prove that your kids are in fact your biological kids, you know what they would do? They would take your child’s DNA and test it because their DNA would contain your essence. And this is where it gets good: Did you know the most common way to do DNA testing is with saliva?
Just go with me for a moment here. Could it be that in this moment of using his saliva to heal this man, Jesus was illustrating, not only to this man but also to all of us who would later have the scientiﬁc knowledge to understand, exactly what he came to do for all of us on this earth? You see, being blind was shameful for this man. It’s why the disciples ignorantly asked in verse 2, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Being blind had caused this man to be a beggar. It probably made him do things neither he nor his parents ever thought he would have to do just to survive. His shame was created by his circumstances, but I can tell you this man felt isolated, humiliated, and less than.
But Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question of who had sinned, this man or his parents, and caused his shame is found in verse 3: “‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” Could it simply be that when Jesus wiped the mud made of dirt and spit on his eyes, he was saying, “I cover you. I cover your shame. The very essence of who I am covers the most shameful parts of you.”
Jesus wants to take our shame and replace it with himself, with his essence. His essence covers. His essence heals. But often we allow the enemy to convince us that although our sins are forgiven, our shame is still our problem to carry. This holds us back from so much in life. Sin may trip us up for a season, but it is often the shame that follows that holds us down for a lifetime.
Maybe you are allowing your shame to paralyze you. To strip you of your dreams. Do you trust God enough to secure your eternity but not enough to free you of your shame? Are you still punishing yourself instead of stepping toward what God might want to do through you in this life? You do not have to be deﬁned by that shameful thing that happened to you or that shameful thing you did.
As a teenager trying to hide from the world the reality of who I really was, I didn’t have any idea that I could do something with my shame other than hide it. Hide my free lunch card. Hide my smelly clothes. Hide my drunk mom. But I later learned that when Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago, he didn’t only die for my sins. He died for my shame as well, and he did the same for you. Your shame can be covered by Jesus. Your shame can be healed by Jesus. He wants to take your past shame and make it into something beautiful today.
Chris Brown tells his story of overcoming his past this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Restored by Chris Brown. Copyright ©2022 by Christopher Brown. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.