Christians are dirt.
Well, all humans are dirt.
Think back to the Creation story found in Genesis. God made so many beautiful things on earth, so many masterpieces. He fashioned the mighty lion, the passionfruit flower and the sloth, the morning dew, the peacock’s feathers and the mighty mountain.
And underneath all of these wonderful creations- there was… dirt.
Nothing too special about dirt. Probably the most humble of all God’s creation.
This is the first juxtaposition in the Bible- God made the first human, our ancestor Adam out of dust. Adam means “Earth”. As if He took the most boring thing He could find and made the most intelligent being on earth.
Dirt in the New Testament
Fast forward about 4,000 years or so.
God Himself, Jesus walked among us, and many people praised Him and even more asked Him for healing. He touched people and they were instantly healed from various life-threatening diseases.
In one extreme instance, Jesus was walking through a crowd and a woman with vast amounts of faith touched His robe and she was healed from a horrible disease where she was bleeding constantly (maybe they meant menstrual blood? Ouch).
In another instance of healing, Jesus was asked to heal a military official’s servant and He healed the servant from a great distance away- probably about 5 miles away… on foot.
Jesus heals with dirt…why?
But the instance I’d like to talk to you about isn’t one of these- it’s the instance of the healing of a blind man in 1st-century Roman-occupied Israel.
I’ll recap in case you don’t want to go read it right now.
Jesus is walking around and His disciples are following Him. Also following Him are some critics- The Pharisees, basically… they were wealthy Torah geeks.
The critics say: Hey, look at that poor blind guy. Why is he blind? What sins did he do to deserve to be born blind?
Jesus tells them, this blindness isn’t because of sin, this happened so the power of God could be seen in Him.
Then Jesus spits on the ground, picks up a clump of dirt with His saliva, mixes it in His hand, and puts this mud over the blind man’s eyes.
Jesus tells the man- go wash your face in the pool of Siloam.
Jesus could have healed the man by just thinking about it. Or saying it. Or just touching the man’s eyes with His hands. But He went through the process of dirt and saliva and sending the man. There’s something that Jesus wanted us to see here.
Siloam literally means ‘Sent’. How’s that for a word picture? I love it when Jesus does those thoughtful, witty things in the Gospel. Like the time He made the coin for His taxes come out of a fish’s mouth. 💰 🐟 😆
Ok- back to the story. 😁
This pool was built during the reign of Hezekiah and was on the other side of the city. At least it was far enough away that the crowd lost track of the man. He can’t see anyway, and now he has the public humiliation of walking around with mud all over his face.
Can you imagine walking through town with spit (even Divine spit) and dirt all over your face? It’s like going through an obstacle course blindfolded with people possibly even laughing at you. He might have been used to people laughing at him.
But the man had faith. He was obedient despite the humiliation.
Now, the blind man goes and washes his eyes with the water in this public pool. When we washed away the mud, the blind beggar could see! This man had never seen anything in his life. All because of dirt.
What is it about dirt that God sees? Why did God the Father choose to make Adam out of dirt, and why did God the Son choose to heal with dirt?
I think it’s humility. If you are prideful with God, He will humble you.
God put these passages in the Bible to remind us- we are made of the lowest, most humiliating thing in creation- dirt.
Humiliation = Forced humility
Jesus said: “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” (John 9:39)
If you think you’re high stuff- God will humble you. If you are on the down-and-out; humiliated and know that you need God, He will lift you up.
Dirt is humiliation. And humiliation isn’t bad. After all: humiliation is just the action of being made humble.
So. Remember. You are dirt. And that isn’t bad. 😌
I’ll leave you with one of the last things that God said to Adam and Eve before they left the Garden. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19
What do you think?
Do you agree with my theory? Did Jesus choose dirt on purpose? Why do you think mankind and dirt are compared so often in the Bible?