Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mark 8:22-26 Jesus Restores A Blind Man's Sight

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. 24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” 25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

If you remember Bethsaida is where Jesus healed a man after feeding the four thousand. Then upon His arrival in Capernaum the Pharisees still not believing in Him sought a sign from which He rebuked by saying no sign would be given them except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Then departing from them, Jesus took the disciples in a boat and while they journeyed the disciples realized they hadn’t brought sufficient bread. This after Jesus had miraculously fed both the five thousand then the four thousand before their eyes and thus Jesus somewhat disturbed by their lack of faith warns them of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, meaning beware of becoming hardened in heart as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod’s disciples were. Even Jesus’ disciples (that means us) as the twelve demonstrated, can demonstrate a lack of trust in Him, even after experiencing His Power working in our lives.

In some ways Jesus demonstrates by healing the blind man in stages, both to His disciples, and to us, how our own spiritual sight of God is clouded by sin. Sin within us has made mankind unable to see God clearly, as the blind man was initially unable to see Jesus clearly. The many ways in which people “see” God is one reason why we have so many different religions in the world. Yet Jesus Christ came from God so that we might all see Him clearly. Not as man interprets God to be; again through the clouded lenses of his own sinful nature, but as He is. Now in order to do that God had to rectify the sin problem, and that He has done through the crucifixion death of His Son Jesus Christ. God paid the awful penalty of out sin and made a way for us to receive our spiritual sight by faith in Jesus. Who not only was crucified, but also rose from the dead than Jesus ascended on High back to the Father before pouring His Spirit into the world. Therefore when we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit comes into our person and transforms us, initially from being spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins separated from God, to Spiritually alive and united with the One true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3). Thus as Jesus Christ died for sin, so we die to sin with Him, thus as Jesus Christ rose from the dead to new life, so we rise to new and everlasting life with Him when we believe in Him (Rom. 6). Then He progressively transforms our character to more and more reflect the Lord Jesus Christ. As well Jesus Christ gives us that desire; a new heart that wants to be more and more like Him, and thus we seek to change, from the old sinful self to the new holy man even while we are being changed within (Rom. 12:1-2; Phil. 2:12). For ultimately God Himself by His Spirit is working out both His plans and purposes for us who love Him (Rom. 8).

Now Bethsaida along with Chorazin and Capernaum Jesus condemned because of their unbelief towards Him (See Matt. 11:20-30). Bethsaida was the hometown of Peter, Andrew his brother, and Philip. If you read John’s gospel you will see how readily they came to faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately their fellow brethren did not, just as the people of Nazareth; Jesus’ hometown did not. So the people in these regions largely will not as well, though it was in these that Jesus did most of His miracles in Galilee, and in their presence. Now with Jesus’ return to Bethsaida they, meaning the people there came to Him and beg Him that He should touch the blind man whom they brought to Him. However Jesus does not heal the man immediately before them. Instead He takes the blind man by the hand and leads him out of town, away from the people. The passage than says, Jesus spit in the man’s eyes, and put His hands on him. Then He asked the man if he saw anything (vs. 23). With that the man responded to Jesus by saying, “I see men like trees, walking.” Vs. 24 So Jesus again put His hands on the man’s eyes and made him look up. The Scripture then says he was restored and saw everyone clearly (vs. 25). Then Jesus sent him to his house saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” Vs. 26

Now Jesus had already pronounced woes on this region. Jesus earlier said: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. Matt. 11:21-26

Therefore Jesus’ healing the blind man He did outside of the city of Bethsaida where He with His disciples and the man were alone. The miracle than was for their eyes so that they might see Him better. The question than is have you seen Jesus, maybe not perfectly as the blind man did not initially. But have you come to a basic understanding of who Jesus Christ is? If so the next step to take is to personally receive God's Son into your heart for yourself. For consider the blind man who couldn’t heal himself, but when he came to Jesus Christ, Jesus without reservation did. For it’s not what you don’t yet see or understand of God that matters to God it’s that you come to Him to receive true sight of Him from Him, for only Jesus Christ can restore you to God and give you eternal life when you believe in Him. Spiritually than where are you? Have you seen your need for Jesus Christ and come to Him in repentance and faith? The Lord Jesus after pronouncing those terrifying woes in Matthew 11:20-24 also gave an beautiful invitation for all, to come to Him and receive His Person, as He is, for Jesus Christ says to all: 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

If you would like to invite Jesus Christ into your heart and begin to see God as He really is than please do so. New life awaits you. Simply pray in faith something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I believe that you are come from God to die on the cross for the sins of the world and save all who repent and believe in you. Therefore I now invite you into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior, in your Name Lord Jesus, amen.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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