Jesus was willing to get down into the mess of life. He touched lepers, befriended despised people, and hung out with notorious sinners. One of my favorite stories about Jesus entering into the mess is found in John 9. Jesus and the disciples encountered a man who was born blind, and the disciples asked for the reason he was born blind- because of his sins or the sins of his family. Jesus responds that the reason was neither because he sinned nor because his parents sinned; rather, the man was born blind in order to display the glory of God.
6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes. 7 He told him, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!
It's a great story with amazing theological richness about the ways God displays his glory, but here is the idea that has grabbed my attention more than anything else in this passage:
How many times did Jesus have to spit in the dirt to make that mud?
Jesus Christ, the son of God, bent over the ground spitting and spitting and spitting into the dry, dusty ground of 1st century Palestine to make enough mud to cover this man’s eyes to deliver him from blindness. How long did he spit? How much did he have to spit? What were the people around him thinking? He was willing to lower himself to the ground, hover over the dust, and spit until he had mud to bring new vision to his life.
It’s a picture of a leader who was willing to enter into the mess.