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Kerry Lytle

April 6, 2024

John 9: 6-7, New Living Translation

“Then He spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man's eyes. He told him, "Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam." So the man went and washed and came back seeing!"

Mother Teresa said, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” 


We are not good at messy faith, are we? We can say we love the poor, the broken, the messy, but when it requires us to do something that is uncomfortable, we may be inclined to pull back. Throughout the gospels, Jesus was moved by compassion. Real Christ-like compassion should move us into the messy. In fact, it should compel us to do something about it–a touch, a smile, a meal, clothes.


We should not be afraid to get our hands dirty in the mess and show people Christ’s love with a touch, a word, food, or clothing. That is what we are called to do in Jesus’ name. 


In His ministry, Jesus was constantly coming across messy people–and, if even only for a moment, He reached into their brokenness and messy worlds. He listened to their heartbreaks. He stopped along the way. He had compassion and touched those who were buried in darkness, desperate for help, and longing for hope. He went into the shadows where the messy people live. He reached the prostitutes, the lepers, those with unclean spirits, people that are seen as "untouchable" and "dirty". Over and over in the Bible, we see Jesus moving toward people's mess and miraculously coming through for them. Whether it was a blind man beside the road, a woman caught in adultery, or a lame man lying beside a pool, Jesus stepped into their situation and showed them that His love was more powerful than their mess.


Real faith is messy. In reality, life is not all sunshine and rainbows...sometimes it's messy– and that’s where Jesus calls us to live.


Next time you or I come face-to-face with the messy people of this world, I am praying that fear will no longer hold us back…I pray that we enter into the mess and love the way Jesus did no matter how insignificant it seems. I want to exercise a faith that has to be messy to be real and make a difference in a hurting world. We should desire to have a kind of faith that finds meaning and fulfillment in servanthood. A faith that rejects entitlement, status, privilege. Faith rarely cleans and never sterile. A faith that lives life among the least of these.


Love is messy. As believers, Jesus wants us to follow His example and run toward others' mess. We live in a world where people naturally run away from other people's junk. People are dealing with pain, hurt, and difficulty all around us. Life gets overwhelming and struggles can weigh us down.


As the church, we are not called to love from a distance. We are called, like Jesus, to be willing to step into the mess with others who are hurting and help those who are tired and wounded. We are called to be in it with them and point them to God. 


By putting these commands into practice, we will grow in Christlikeness and people will be drawn to Christ because this way of treating people is so radically different than the way the world treats people. And that is our goal: to let our light shine before men so that they may see our good deeds and give glory to our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16)


So, roll up your sleeves and get messy in Jesus's Name!

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