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There are so many ways to learn from the Scriptures. We can usually find literal meaning in the passages we read. Sometimes it is also really easy to see more than a literal meaning to the gospel stories. Today is a good example of that. (LK 18: 35-43)

When Jesus approaches the city of Jericho, he hears someone calling, “Jesus of Nazareth, have pity on me!” We already know that this man is blind, sitting on the roadside begging. (Could we be the blind man? Are we sometimes blind to what’s going on? Do we ever ask those around us for help?) Even though people try to get him to stop yelling, he keeps calling out for pity. (How persevering are we in our prayer?) Jesus has the man brought to him and asks the important question: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Would you be ready for the question? Would you dare to ask for something or would you just say as many of us often do: “Oh, I’m okay…I don’t want to bother you…”) The man was brave enough to acknowledge what was wrong with him: “Please let me see,” he said. (Are we willing to ask God for what we need, even if it exposes some weakness or sinful behavior?)

The reward for honesty about ourselves is clear in this story. Jesus answers immediately: “Have sight!” and it’s clear that it is the man’s faith in the power of Jesus to heal that allows the healing. (What is your faith quotient these days? Are you sure that if you have faith you will get what you need? Would you be willing in your request to believe that God knows better than you do what you need and what will be good for you?)

I like this way of approaching the gospels and see it as an examination of consciousness because I really have to be awake if I’m going to get to the depth of meaning in my search. This story was easy to interpret. It’s the answers to the questions, however, that take time and honest digging. Are you willing to give it a try?