JOHN TEN INTERPRETS JOHN NINE
Chapter 10 of the Gospel of John must be put together with chapter 9: these are not two separate records, but one record in two chapters. In chapter 10 the Lord Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (v. 10). Many times we have quoted this verse in an isolated way, neglecting the context. Now, by putting these two chapters together, we see the way whereby the Lord imparts life to us. The blind man was there, a man made of mere clay. But the Lord Jesus healed him and recovered his sight by emitting something out of His mouth and mingling it with the clay. With such a strange kind of ointment, the man was anointed and healed. Without chapter 10, it is rather difficult to understand the significance of the Lord’s act in mingling the spittle with the clay. Chapter 10 interprets it by showing that in so doing He imparted life: something out from Him entered into the blind man and mingled with him. What the Lord did in chapter 9 was a sign, signifying a spiritual reality. The Lord Jesus came to impart life to us by something coming out of His mouth and mingling with us. When we come to chapter 20 of this Gospel, we see how the Lord Jesus after His resurrection came to His disciples and breathed into them. This breathing was in a sense a kind of spitting. Something came out of His mouth and entered into His disciples, mingling with them as with the clay. That is the imparting of life. Life is nothing else but something of the Lord Jesus breathed into us and mingled with us. It is by the life then that we receive the sight.
THE WAY TO PRACTICE
In what way could we have something coming out from the Lord and into us to mingle with us today? In either of two ways: 1) By calling upon His name. When we call upon His name, we breathe Him in. 2) By pray-reading His Word. The spittle today is the living Word, and we are the pieces of clay. The more we pray-read, the more something of the Lord Jesus comes out from Him and into us. It is thus that something of the Lord is mingled with us, and we not only have life, but have it abundantly. It is by this life, then, that we are enabled to see.
You may say that whenever I speak I always return eventually to the matter of calling on the name of the Lord and pray-reading. It is really so. I have not found a third way. In all my years of experience with the Lord, I have only found these two ways: calling on the name of the Lord and pray-reading the Word. I do know of a certainty that this is the best way for the Lord to mingle something of Himself with us.
Do you realize that you are merely a piece of clay, born blind and kept in a fold? If so, you must let Christ emit something out of Himself and into you. Then you will have life and receive the sight to see; you will be out of the fold and enjoy the pasture. There is no other way but by calling on His name and pray-reading. All the day we need to say, "O Lord, Amen! O Lord, Amen!" All the day we also need to pray-read the Word. Then the spittle from the mouth of the Lord will mingle with us the clay. We will have the anointing, for this is the anointing. Hallelujah! The more we call on the name of the Lord and pray-read the Word, the more we are anointed. This anointing is so sweet, so refreshing, so new. It is by this that we experience Christ as the door, the Shepherd, and the green pasture. And it is by this that we are now in the flock, the church.
Eventually we have nothing and keep nothing but Christ and the Church, the Head with the Body. The Lord in the last days of this age is recovering this; He is recovering Christ as life with the proper church life. Now the Lord is doing something to put the enemy to shame. God the Father can point to the enemy and say, "Satan, look, even on this earth, in this dark age, My Son Jesus Christ could have such a Body." Not only is this a shame to Satan, but also a beach head for Christ to gain the entire earth. The church life will be the beachhead for Christ to return. The Lord is doing this, not in a human way, but in a divine way; not in an organized way, but by the transforming Spirit.
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)