That is, they had been walking by him. Some of the young men kicked and stepped on him as they left. Ivver recognized the sneering face of the younger Pharisees before his world went dark.
Ivver woke up. Looking around in the sun's blaring afternoon light, he guessed he had been unconscious for a couple of hours. He checked his head wound, and was at least happy to see that it had stopped bleeding.
Ivver felt the brave exterior he had held against the Pharisees start to break. He knew he didn't have anyone else to go to. His parents had been avoiding him ever since they were seized and questioned. The same for the rest of his family and friends.
I'm alone. Where can I go now? I have no one.
With that last thought, the chink in his armor was found. He started to cry. First just slow, hot tears that ran down his face. Soon they evolved to a heavy flow of sobs. His world was blurred as he cried, completely at a loss of what to do now.
A hand cupped his shoulder, and Ivver jerked away. Looking up, he realized it was Jesus, the one who had healed him.
Embarrassed, he tried to wipe away the tears. Jesus extended a hand to him, helping him up. Brushing the dirt off of himself, he looked at Jesus, waiting.
"Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
What did he believe in now? Who did he believe in now? He didn't know. He desperately wanted something to believe in now. "And who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?" His own voice was horse and gravelly.
"You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."
Ivver studied Jesus, then blinked. Jesus had come to find him. Jesus was the one he had been defending against the Pharisees. Jesus was the one for whom he had risked everything. Jesus was giving him hope. And suddenly, Ivver just knew. This was it. "Lord, I believe." Worship rolled out of him. This was HIM. The sound of worship was beautiful, and the most glorious thing he had ever seen was the look of love in Jesus' eyes.
"For judgement I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."
Ivver didn't understand Jesus' words until he saw some of the Pharisees standing nearby, watching them.
"Are we also blind?" A short, stout man asked. The indignant look pulling on his face somewhat comically.
"If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."
The man huffed, and whacked the other Pharisee on the arm. Stomping off, they left Ivver with the one who had saved him.
The one who had saved him from everything.
Based on John 9:35-41
The whole reason I wanted to do this series is right here:
"Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him...." John 9:35a
I love that the formerly blind man, Ivver as I named him, came to know Jesus as Lord. I love that Jesus totally gave the Pharisees what for, calling them out on their own spiritual blindness. But what I really loved was that when Ivver was cast out of the church, Jesus came and found him. Jesus sought him. Jesus loved him when everyone else had abandoned him.
Jesus came specifically for him.
Jesus didn't leave him there in his pity party. Jesus didn't say, "Well that's the price of standing up for what you believe." Jesus didn't forget him. Jesus didn't let all the other things He had to attend to distract Him from finding this man, and showing him love and comfort and God. He gave him something to believe in, to hold onto, to give him hope.
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19
God has never left us to our own devices, despite how it might feel like that sometimes. God has never abandoned us. Jesus will always come and find you. His Spirit will always be there for you, to guide you. Jesus came for you once already, to save you. He will come for you again.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul is writing to the believers in Corinth. Word had gotten out about the persecution and affliction they had experienced in Asia. They had felt so beaten down that they despaired of life itself. They thought they were going to die. Paul starts this letter to the worried Corinthians by talking about God's comfort. In fact, the heading in my Bible is "God of All Comfort."
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Out hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
God will always be there to help you stand up, no matter what is beating you down, no matter how alone you are, no matter who has turned their backs on you.
"He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." 2 Corinthians 1:10
Jesus will always come and find you. You can always set your hope on Him.
V. Joy Palmer