Monday, April 18, 2011

A Shirt, A Tie, A Mowhawk?!?

Alright, so the story of the Mohawk, it does indeed have a purpose.
"The Chillihawk"
Even when I am weird, I have purpose.
I am purpose driven!
Think about this for a minute:
Matthew 11:1-6
1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Let's look at what Jesus offers as evidence that he is indeed the Christ: The Blind see, the lame walk, people with horrible skin diseases are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS PREACHED TO THE POOR!!!!
Wait a minute!!
Why is it that good news being preached to the poor is listed right next to the dead being raised!?!
Is there something miraculous about the poor receiving some good news? I think so, mainly because bad news is so profitable. Bad news makes big money!!!
Well, we will look at something miraculous today, something involving Good news, it's easy to find if you have a Bible, just remember the following little rhyme: “John Nine, Man Born Blind” Well, maybe that rhymes with a little poetic license, but hey, I bet you won't forget it now!!! ;-)

here is the text:
John 9
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”6 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 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8 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?”9. Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.”10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”11 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.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22(His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”
38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

This was a long section of scripture, so you may want to just let this story stew in you head and think the whole time: This man was blind, but now he sees!
That's profound...
I promise there is a relationship here to why my picture has a mowhawk.
Ok, first of all,
You see, the hair is an action parable. An action parable is a device that prophets and ministers use to draw attention to a particular point. The prophet Ezekiel was fond of them, and so was Jeremiah. I believe that the text (John Nine, man born blind) is an example of a New Testament Action parable. A prophet named Agabus also did one in the book of Acts.
Today I want to look at an opportunity Jesus took to present some good news to a poor man by using an action parable. In the process, Jesus heals the man, shakes up the pharisees, and gives me a pretty good reason to use my hair as an action parable. In the process we will see that being blind doesn't always mean you'll be blind, seeking truth doesn't always mean we will be accepted by others, and when you find Christ, expect him to rearrange your life a little bit.

Sometimes being blind ain't permanent. Often times there are reasons why we are blind. Yes, it's true. Sometimes bad things happen to you because something good can come out of it. Think about Esther, here she was one lonely little jewish woman in a kingdom of pagans, and she by the grace of God was able to save her own people. Esther 4:14 is the verse to read in that whole book. Also, You don't always understand why you suffer the way you do. People may assume it's because of your sin and unrighteousness, or because of your parent's, or because everyone is against you. That's not the case many times though. You suffer sometimes simply because God is using you to do something better. Besides, sometimes you are given sight. Sight is a wonderful thing! It's a wonderful thing to learn a new subject and who can resist being happy after being given a wonderful new gift! Notice though, that we didn't say that if you are blind you will see. It's only sometimes because sometimes You stay Blind Just like the pharisees. The pharisees were pretty self righteous cats. You can be just like them, it is really easy, all you have to do is pretend that everything is alright and there is nothing wrong with you, or that it's okay to be the way you are, it's how you were made. Then you will be just like them, spiritually blind, spiritually naked, and because spirits are real and you need to spiritually see and spiritually put on Christ, you CAN REALLY go to hell! Seriously folks, having spiritual sight is important. Only some people see because some people need to be accepted by others. Why do you think there is all this social networking jazz?
Unfortunately, seeking truth doesn't always mean we will be accepted by others. Many people, some of them very religious and "Christian sounding" will reject you once you start to see. Families can be even worse. If you want to be accepted by God, you must learn that sometimes you will be rejected: Check this post out about Scott Baio I won't tell you what it's completely about because you need to read it for yourself. I want you to start feeling a little uncomfortable, like, "Why on earth did I ever start reading this junk, it's stupid, and now I feel bad". If you want to know the real lesson of my action parable haircut, you will have to read it all. Then it will make sense, and you will wish for an anti-kudos button. I know I did!
One reason why I am trying to make you feel a little uneasy is because of my third point (how's that for a transition Eli?): When you find Christ with your brand new eyes and your desire for Him and His truth alone, you can expect Him to rearrange your life a little bit. Consider this, you were blind, now you see!!! Remember that I asked you to remember that the important thing about the passage (go read John 9 Just in case you don't remember) is that the man once was blind, now he sees! He once was blind, now he sees! THAT'S IMPORTANT!!! Think about how his life is completely messed up now. He was a beggar, now he can't beg any more because his excuse for being unemployed has been taken from him. He's got to go get a real job for the first time in his life, and all his life all he's known is a life of begging. Great Cats, that's amazingly different than anything you have ever thought about this passage isn't it! He is totally unprepared to live the life of the sighted. Neither are you, especially if you are new to this whole Jesus and Christianity thing. Every day we have to put to death the old man with its desires, and bring to life Christ in us. Otherwise, we'll be naked spiritually speaking, and well, you know, who wants to be naked in front of God? Don't worry! You don't have to accept Christ, you can continue living a life of comfort and ease, totally unaware that death awaits you. Be Proud, go ahead, it suits you. You want to hold your head up, and hurl forth into oblivion. It's the path of least resistance. tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself. Without humility, you will continue to be just like the pharisees, guilty. I choose to be different. I want to wash the feet of nasty people who haven't bathed in days or weeks because it's harder to be prideful when you look at the world from the ground up.
I hope I've been a little different, and that you haven't quit reading yet.
Conclusion: We've got to be a little different than everyone else. Something must change. We must chafe against the world. It's like wearing a shirt, tie, and mohawk to church, People who see us may find something attractive, yet they always find something off. There is something wrong with us.


James McCrickard said...

Good eatin'

GB Hoyt said...

What the Possum? Wrong post essay!

James McCrickard said...

I always refer to God's message as good eatin'

GB Hoyt said...

M'kay, lo siento mi amigo!

RoseMarie said...

You are correct, Brandon, I now have a new understanding of this scripture/parable. Thank you for opening my eyes to a different slant on an old story. Love, Mom

Eli Westfall said...

Well said Fred, err brandon. Also, excellent transition.

GB Hoyt said...

I knew you would appreciate that Eli :)