25/25 Xtreme

xtreme2

Twenty five extreme situations in twenty five words.

No 25. Dilemma II.

What will she do now?
Always a second chance.
She frowns as she walks.
It’s a tough ask.
To leave one life.
Risk starting another.

John 8

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

***

No 24. Tears.

She’s upset.
Angry even.
How can they do this?
Abuse him like that?
Disregard and disrespect him.
They have no idea who he is.
Oblivious.

Luke 7

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. 37 A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, “This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

40 Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” 44 He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 47 I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?” 50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

***

No 23. Bitter Heart.

She wants to stop it.
But can’t.
The bile rising in her throat.
The pain behind her eyes.
Misused.
Abandoned.
Torn apart by her men.

2 Samuel 6

16 But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him.
17 The Ark of the LORD was placed inside the special tent that David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD. 18 When he had finished, David blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. 19 Then he gave a gift of food to every man and woman in Israel: a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then everyone went home.
20 When David returned home to bless his family, Michal came out to meet him and said in disgust, “How glorious the king of Israel looked today! He exposed himself to the servant girls like any indecent person might do!”
21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the LORD, who chose me above your father and his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the LORD. So I am willing to act like a fool in order to show my joy in the LORD. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, but I will be held in honor by the girls of whom you have spoken!”

 ***

No 22. Dilemma.

What will he do now?
Always a second chance.
He frowns as he walks.
Time to think, reflect on what’s important.
What makes you rich.

Matthew 19

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?”
17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. 19 Honour your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

***

No 21. Caring Predicament.

Romans are watching.
Any whiff of a stoning, he’ll be arrested.
Moses is king, can’t deny him.
He’ll be a fraud.
He smiles at her.

John 7&8

32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were murmuring such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus. 33 But Jesus told them, “I will be here a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me but not find me. And you won’t be able to come where I am.”
35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement.
Early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

***

No 20. Balance?

A time for everything…
To recycle, keep, throw, share.
To Google, email, tweet, FaceBook, switch off.
To stop, listen, laugh, cry.
Chat, care, change, live.

Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

***

No 19. The Whisper.

Don’t need the thunder.
The racket and the noise.
He finds The Presence in the moments of silence.
In the absence and calm.
He listens.

1 Kings 19

8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the LORD said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

***

No 18. No Fuss.

No coronation.
No rock concert.
No celebrities.
Just an old man, in a field with a jar of oil.
Sometimes heroes are the ordinary people.

1 Samuel 16

11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep.”
“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
12 So Jesse sent for him. He was ruddy and handsome, with pleasant eyes. And the LORD said, “This is the one; anoint him.”
13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the olive oil he had brought and poured it on David’s head. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

 ***

No 17. A Crack in the Cistern.

No water can kill.
Bad water can kill faster.
The sky looks down in horror.
When there’s a choice…
Why go to the poisoned well?

Jeremiah 2

11 Has any nation ever exchanged its gods for another god, even though its gods are nothing? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! 12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay, says the LORD. 13 For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me – the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

John 4

13 Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. 14 But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

John 10

10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

***

No 16. Needs A Bucket.

He should stand about 20 feet back.
Show the woman it’s safe to get water.
Instead he sits there.
Naïve and thirsty.
Needing her help.

John 4

7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. 14 But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

***

No 15. Equal Opportunities.

Radical.
The only word for it.
His treatment of women.
From his stories about God…
(Coins, cloth, dough.)
To his school of disciples.
No segregation.

Luke 8

1 Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby cities and villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, 2 along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; 3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

Luke 10

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.

Mark 12

41 Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two pennies. 43 He called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the others have given. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

***

No 14. Stronger.

Strange encouragement.
Sounds like bad news.
But not to this action man.
He ran recently.
Denied and fled.
One day he won’t.
He’ll come good.

John 21

15  After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. 18 The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

***

No 13. Provision.

He did it once before.
Provided a lottery winning catch.
So big it’ll feed their families for a while.
Frees them to change the world.

John 21

4 At dawn the disciples saw Jesus standing on the beach, but they couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Friends, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get plenty of fish!” So they did, and they couldn’t draw in the net because there were so many fish in it. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and swam ashore. 8 The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only out about three hundred feet. 9 When they got there, they saw that a charcoal fire was burning and fish were frying over it, and there was bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. 12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. And no one dared ask him if he really was the Lord because they were sure of it. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.

***

No 12. Believing Tom.

One of them’s missing.
Had the courage to go out alone.
Jesus takes note.
Better come back for the brave guy.
The outspoken, honest one.

John 20

19 That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord! 21 He spoke to them again and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven.”
24 One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

***

No 11. Living Dangerously.

They try to kill him.
Offended by his compassion for outsiders.
Haul him to an angry hill.
But he lives.
Resurrects.
Walks away from death.

Mark 4

23 Then he said, “Probably you will quote me that proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Why don’t you do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum?’ 24 But the truth is, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.
25“Certainly there were many widows in Israel who needed help in Elijah’s time, when there was no rain for three and a half years and hunger stalked the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a widow of Zarephath—a foreigner in the land of Sidon. 27 Or think of the prophet Elisha, who healed Naaman, a Syrian, rather than the many lepers in Israel who needed help.”
28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and took him to the edge of the hill on which the city was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he slipped away through the crowd and left them.

***

No 10. Strange Celebrity

It’s the custom.
An honoured visitor comes and the town turn out to welcome him.
But he is interested in others.
The sick and unpopular.

Luke 18

35 As they approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was going by. 38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 The crowds ahead of Jesus tried to hush the man, but he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. 41 Then Jesus asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he pleaded, “I want to see!”
42 And Jesus said, “All right, you can see! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax-collecting business, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! For I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the crowds were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

***

No 9. Room to Manoeuvre.

Can say it like it is.
No pretence.
No triumphalism or false faith.
No brave face.
Telling the truth.
With a man who is truth.

John 8.32

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

John 14.6

“I am the way the truth and the life.”

John 18.37

“You say that I am a king, and you are right,” Jesus said. “I was born for that purpose. And I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

***

No 8. Other Worldly.

Restless hearts.
A sense of something missing.
An itch.
An ache.
A longing nothing can quite fill.
A pearl waiting, in a clam tightly closed.

Ecclesiastes 3.11

‘God has placed eternity in our hearts.’

John 10.10

‘My purpose is to bring life in all its fullness.’

Augustine:

‘Our hearts are restless till they find their place in you.’

***

No 7. Serpents & Doves.

In the right place at the right time.
Women putting their lives on the line.
Saving children.
Fighting a covert battle.
Incredible courage in action.

Exodus 1

11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves and put brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down under heavy burdens. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centres for the king. 14 They were ruthless with the Israelites, forcing them to make bricks and mortar and to work long hours in the fields.
15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives: 16“When you help the Hebrew women give birth, kill all the boys as soon as they are born. Allow only the baby girls to live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king and allowed the boys to live, too. 18 Then the king called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”
19 “Sir,” they told him, “the Hebrew women are very strong. They have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time! They are not slow in giving birth like Egyptian women.”

Matthew 10.16

‘Be as wise as serpents, but gentle as doves.’

***

No 6. No Limits.

For everything.
Plants, creatures, eco systems.
Earth.
The planets.
Stars.
Universe.
The systems of our very being.
The ultimate sacrifice.
God so loved the cosmos…

John 3

16  Jesus said to Nicodemus, as they might in the quiet of the night, “For God so loved the cosmos that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. To heal it. To bring it into a new way of being.”

***

No 5. 1x1x1=1

No need to debate the trinity.
Or to explain.
God is word, God is being, God is spirit.
The challenge?
Weaving those three through life.

John 1

1 In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. 4 Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. 5 The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

1 John 1

1 The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. 2 This one who is life from God was shown to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and announce to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was shown to us.

***

No 4. Over a Cuppa.

Starts with a drink.
She has the means.
He has the thirst.
He breaks the rules.
Asks for a drink.
She’ll never be the same.

John 4

6 Jesus came to Jacob’s well; and, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
28 …The woman left her water jar beside the well and went back to the village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

***

No 3. Equal Opportunities.

Woman loses a coin.
Man loses a sheep.
Both hunt high and low.
Neither gives up.
Both get a party.
No discrimination in this district.

Luke 15

3 So Jesus used this illustration: 4 “If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? 5 And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. 6 When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbours to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found. 7 In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbours to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin. 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

***

No 2. All Change.

Weddings are places of change.
Relationships shift.
No longer the way of the years.
Responsibilities adjust.
The son becomes a leader.
The mother a follower.

John 2

1 The next day Jesus’ mother was a guest at a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. 2 Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother spoke to him about the problem. “They have no more wine,” she told him.
4 “How does that concern you and me?” Jesus asked. “My time has not yet come.”
5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Six stone waterpots were standing there; they were used for Jewish ceremonial purposes and held twenty to thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled to the brim, 8 he said, “Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So they followed his instructions.
9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “Usually a host serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone is full and doesn’t care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!”
11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus’ first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

***

No 1. Second Sight.

Seeing takes a while..
A blind man, muddy sludge, trees walking.
Twelve disciples, a tough question, the penny dropping.
Gradual sight for all of them.

Mark 8

22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch and heal the man. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands over the man’s eyes again. As the man stared intently, his sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”

27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”
29 Then Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” 30 But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Like blind people with mud on our eyes, seeing takes a while. We get some of the picture, but the vision is muddied, blurred at times. Restoring sight can take a life time.

***

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