The Misunderstood Miracle
I loved Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line”, he nailed Johnny Cash. His mannerisms, his attitude, and swagger. He embodies the Man in Blacks angst and pain in a way that blew my mind. There is no doubt that he is a great actor, but this time he is out of his league, and he has not done his research.
Phoenix is now starring in a movie called Mary Magdelene, and he is playing the character of Jesus. But in recent press junkets, it has become clear that he does not really understand the complexity of the “character” that he is playing. Going so far as second-guessing the actions of the Son of God.
In a prime example of the arrogance of man, Joaquin Pheonix has refused to “perform” one of the miracles in the Gospel of John (Healing the Blind man by rubbing mud made from dirt and saliva on his eyes) saying:
“I knew about that scene from the Bible, but I guess I had never really considered it,” Phoenix told CNN. “When I got there, I thought, ‘I’m not going to rub dirt in her eyes. Who the f— would do that?’ It doesn’t make any sense. That is a horrible introduction to seeing.”
First of all, it is not “a scene”, it’s a first-hand account of a real event.
Second, “Who the F— would do that?!”
Well Mr. Pheonix, Let me answer your questions.
This was not a meaningless act, it was not done flippantly. Jesus didn’t do things without purpose. Everything that He DOES has meaning and purpose.
This was a significant act of rebellion against religion. Jesus was intentionally stepping all over the mountain of rules that the Jews had created in the name of God.
In Mishnah, Shabbat 108:20-21 healing a blind man on the Sabbath is prohibited, to inject wine into his eyes. It is also prohibited to make mud with spittle and smear it on his eyes.
“Who would do that?” The Son of God, Creator of the Universe, does not play by man’s rules but does what he wishes however and whenever he wants. Apparently, He doesn’t like being told when and how he can heal one of his lost sheep. He is no pushover, he did this to infuriate the religious leaders, and it worked. They eventually killed him for doing things just like this.
“It doesn’t make any sense…“That is very true for those who have never met Him. It is just a strange passage in an obscure text. But for those of us who know Him, It makes every kind of sense. Jesus loved breaking meaningless rules to show us the true way. At this moment Jesus clearly demonstrates how the Kingdom of God works and he made very clear who was the King in that kingdom, it certainly wasn’t the priests and scribes.
As to your belief that this is “a horrible introduction to seeing.” I would strongly disagree, In fact, I would say it is a perfect introduction to sight. Jesus was literally saying God doesn’t care about your religious rules and traditions. He loves people, and it is more important to care for people than follow rules that were meant to restrict access to God. Not only did Jesus heal the man from blindness, but he also showed him that he would do it while flying in the face of tradition.
Jesus came to make the blind see, the lame walk, to cause the dead to rise. This is what he does because he loves us and more specifically he wants to set us free. Free from both physical but more importantly spiritual bondage.
And He knows that the only TRUE freedom is found in voluntarily submitting to His reign. I hope you will consider this Revolutionary God-man who seeks to free you from the bondage of self-worship.
He really is all that he claimed to be…and more. No Hollywood production could ever contain the depth of who he is, but he is ready and waiting to open your eyes too. So that your first true sight would be a God who loves you so much that he would die to set you free.