John 9: 6-7
After saying this, he spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means ‘Sent’). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
John 8: 3; 6-8
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery…Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Psalm 40: 2
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
I like things to be clean, tidy and in order. However, due to the presence of a very active 4 year old at home who seems to love creating mess at every opportunity, I have realised that my desire for tidiness is going to have to be placed on hold for roughly 15 years.
At one stage, about two years ago, I found myself getting frustrated because everything was constantly such a mess. Scattered all through the house were toys, random pieces of Lego, teddies and raisins. Our car was littered with half chewed snacks, odd socks, toys and, of course, raisins. Where do those raisins come from?! One particular day I was getting really annoyed about all the mess, when I felt the Lord rebuke me. I sensed Him say, “If you could have all the tidiness you want, a clean house and a clean car, but have no little boy, would you take it?”
My immediate response was, “Of course not.”
“Well”, the Lord seemed to say, “why don’t you stop complaining about the mess and instead give thanks for it, because the mess is a sign of new life.”
I love that we worship and serve a Saviour who wasn’t afraid of mess. As we read the Gospels, we see Jesus getting his hands dirty. I mean, when it came to the blind man in John 9, Jesus could easily have healed him without even touching him. He’d done it before. However, in this case, he chose to spit onto the ground, pick up a handful of wet dirt and make a little mud mixture to place on the man’s eyes.
With the woman caught in adultery in the previous chapter, again Jesus gets down into the dirt twice and writes on the muddy ground with his finger. He also touched lepers, had dinner with tax collectors and ‘sinners’ and allowed a well-known promiscuous woman to wipe his feet with her hair and kiss them.
Jesus wasn’t afraid of dirty hands and he wasn’t put off by messy people. Here was the most pure and holy man who ever walked this planet, yet his perfect righteousness didn’t prevent him from getting involved in messy and mucky places.
I’m so thankful that we don’t have to have our lives all cleaned up to come close to Jesus. He accepts us as we are, with all of our words, attitudes, thoughts and actions which are far from pure and holy. When he reaches into our lives, he takes away our mess and filth. Not only that, he also makes us completely clean and righteous before God.
We all have some messy areas in our lives, places we prefer to keep hidden from others, secrets and shame, habits and hurts, failures and faults. The good news is, we can bring them to Jesus. Uncovered, unedited, unclean. He isn’t put off by them. He won’t turn away from us. In fact, he moves towards the mess. And as we honestly and openly expose the darkest and dirtiest parts of our lives to him, we will discover that it is in our biggest messes that Jesus can do his greatest miracles.
Please join us this Sunday at 9.30 am and 11.30 am.
There will be no evening service, but we will gather once again at 7.00 pm at the church and go into the community as part of 10,000 Hours. If you haven’t yet registered for 10,000 Hours, you can sign up today using this link: