The Act of Obedience

In the ninth chapter of the gospel of John, we find a detailed account of the healing of a man blind from his birth. It is there recorded that in answer to the inquiry of the neighbors and those "which before had seen him that he was blind," as to what had been done for him, he said, "A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." The Pharisees, however, when he was brought to them, were not satisfied with this reply. It is noted that they asked him twice practically the same question, and that finally he answered them, "I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again?" The darkness of the Pharisees was so dense that they could not see that the pith of the whole testimony lay in the simple statement, "I went and washed;" that is to say, that he had rendered willing and instant obedience to the instructions of Jesus, neither stopping to argue nor seeking to evade compliance with the simple demand, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." There was no healing virtue in the waters of the pool of Siloam any more than in any other pool of water. It was not a material cleansing that was needed; it was purging from the belief in imperfection, and this was accomplished by simple obedience to the requirements of Truth as voiced by the man Jesus, himself the highest human exponent of the truth.

With what overwhelming joy and gratitude, then, could the erstwhile blind man say to his questioners, "I went and washed, and I received sight." By the act of obedience he had destroyed the opposition of error to truth in his own consciousness, and thereby had opened the way for the cleansing flood of pure thoughts to wash away the claims of evil that would blind him to the glorious realization of the truth of being. He had not only washed in water to remove the clay from his eyes; his thought had been flooded with a new light, a conviction that he could see, and a new concept of himself as the image and likeness of God. The old misery and darkness had dropped away from him even as the clay had been washed away from his eyes by the waters of the pool.

In the words of John, "He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." How very, very simple, and yet how reluctant the human mind is to obey! If we will all put aside the tangled web of belief which we have woven for ourselves, and seek Truth with the simplicity of the blind man whose singleness of purpose enabled him to obey without questioning, we too can go and wash,—rid ourselves of all material theories, cleanse ourselves of false beliefs, wrong desires, self-will, and all the kindred host of evils that throng the human mind, and like him, receive sight.

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Minute by Minute
November 15, 1919

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