Monday, September 10, 2012

Muddy vision

Jesus heals a blind man
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 8:1-26

TO CHEW ON: "'Having eyes do you not see? And having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?' .... Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him." Mark 8:18, 22

Have you noticed how in several stories of Jesus, what He was trying to teach His disciples and the miracles he did went hand-in-hand? Here for example, he was troubled that they didn't get it when He said "watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees" and called them blind. Then a little later He healed a blind man.

What was Jesus calling leaven, and what did He want them to understand?

He had just performed a miraculous feeding of 4000 people, then crossed Galilee. No sooner had he touched land than He was met by a group of argumentative Pharisees asking for a sign. Jesus refused. I can think of several reasons why:
  • His miracles weren't crowd-wowing magic tricks, but divine interventions to fulfill real needs.
  • It appeared the Pharisees were suspect of anything that they hadn't experienced or seen themselves. Surely the news of Jesus' miracle feeding had reached them but the word of others about Jesus' signs wasn't enough.
  • Jesus knew their hearts, which were determined to doubt Him no matter what. They inevitably twisted His miracles into something bad (e.g. Matthew 12:24).

I believe it was this skeptical, rigid view of life that refused to see God breaking through that was the leaven Jesus was warning the disciples about. For it was in the setting of them worrying about their own lack of bread that He said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees."

And then a few verses further on, He healed the blind man—though in stages. Does this tell us anything about the healing of our spiritual blindness? Two lessons come to mind: 
1. Jesus needs to touch our eyes. We can ask / beg Him to do that like the blind man's friends implored Jesus for their friend.

2. Sometimes sight / insight is gradual. It took several washings for the blind man's vision to clear up completely and so with us it might take repeated washings of the mud of naturalism, skepticism, and our rigid explanations of how God works before we see.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to wash away the debris of skepticism and doubt that continues to cloud my vision. Amen.

MORE: He Touched Me (an oldie but a goodie)

Bible Drive-Thru

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