One Thing I Know
We followed a long, twisted path, the plumber and I.
He raced down one hill, and I forced him around tight curves and back up the other side.
By the time I slammed on the brakes and lurched into the seatbelt, I may have even felt a little motion sickness.
I let my head hang between my legs a little as I reached under my desk for the pen I’d thrown to the floor in bewildered frustration and looked at the mess of scribbled notes and looping arrows connecting one event to the other. The page was splattered with question marks and sad faces that were starting to collect angry eyebrows.
“Let’s stop here. I got lost somewhere around the frozen pipes,” I said. “Just write it down in date order and fax it to me.”
He laughed, and agreed that a written synopsis might be more helpful in navigating the months-long saga of frozen pipes and burned out furnaces and backed up sump pumps.
And then maybe, just maybe, when I actually ride with him in the truck tomorrow, I’ll understand better.
Without all the rambling details.
Right now, there’s just one thing I know and one thing only: the house is flooded.
After Jesus made a little mud, caked it on his eyes and sent him to wash in the pool, he came back to his village seeing.
His return with wide open eyes caused quite a stir back home. Once folks decided it was truly the old beggar from the roadside, they forgot their rejoicing in their demanding explanations:
“How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded. (vs. 10)
Believing they actually wanted to know, he told them, in seven-step specifics (vs. 11):
- There’s a man they call Jesus.
- He made mud.
- He put the mud on my eyes.
- He told me to go to Siloam and wash.
- I went to Siloam.
- I washed.
- I can see.
Keep it Simple
It wasn’t enough.
It started with Jesus and ended with sight, but it just wasn’t good enough for them.
They too reserved their amazement for another day, another miracle. Instead, they demanded an explanation from the bright-eyed man, which was code for “give us something we can use to hang the Healer.”
Sensing that perhaps he needed to simplify things a bit for this learned crowd, he pruned his account down to just three steps (vs. 14):
- He put mud on my eyes.
- I washed.
- I see.
Keep it Simpler
Before it was over they dragged the man’s parents out for the afternoon to give witness to the man’s previous blind state. They affirmed, but went no further, leaving their reborn son to face the Pharisaical inquisition alone.
Just as well. For having had his first encounter with the embattled Messiah that very day, he held his own like an Awana veteran.
The Pharisees pressed him again, this time using an ancient charge to reveal the truth that dated back to Achan’s prohibited plunder of Jericho — and the confession that preceded his stoning by just minutes.
The implication was clear: the man was lying and had best give it up.
But he did not.
He did not change the truth of his story — but he stripped it down to its core so that even these self-befuddling Pharisees could get it. (If they wanted to.)
One thing I know, he told them. And one thing only.
And I have not one thing I want to add to that.
Related: This post continues an earlier series on John 9. Read more here. Photo: Dirt road in the woods by Ariel da Silva Parreira