Summary: This message, born out of my own frustration - encourages people to be faithful even when they only have HALF the Miracle God is giving.
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. Mark 8:22-25 (NKJV)
This is one time in scripture when Jesus performed a miracle in someone’s life that was not complete. Have you ever thought about why he did this? When you read the whole chapter – this story actually fits. The whole chapter is about people that see – but don’t really see!
THE COMMUNITY: NOT SEEING CLEARLY…
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. Mark 8:11 (NKJV)
Bethsaida – this was not on Jesus’ list of top 10 favorite towns.
"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Matt 11:21 (NIV)
Here the people looked for a sign. Jesus had done many miracles here. They were amazed by him, but still missed who he really was him. They saw – but they didn’t really see.
The people of Bethsaida are blind to who he really is.
THE DISCIPLES: NOT SEEING CLEARLY...
Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? Mark 8:18 (NKJV)
The disciples are even struggling. Jesus asks them in verse 27 – who do men say that I am? In verse 29 – who do YOU say? Peter – “The Christ”. Then in verse 32, Peter begins to rebuke him, and Jesus has to say
He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men Mark 8:33 (NKJV)
The problem is – everyone has a pre-conceived notion of the Christ. But He somehow refuses to fit into our molds.
In this story – we’re going to talk about a man that went from being blind to seeing clearly. The story shows us that sight does not always come instantly. In truth, God reveals Himself progressively.
I wonder if anyone here wants to really see? Yesterday as I was praying, “God – I want to see you. I see you, but I don’t feel like I am really seeing you”. And the Lord started talking to me about what needs to happen if we want to see him:
It is safe to say that those who brought this man to Jesus had a pre-conceived notion of what happened when Jesus touched someone. Look at the verse - they actually begged Jesus to "touch him".
Jesus reached out his hand… Everyone held their breath… ... ... ... Nothing happened.
Except that Jesus led the man out of town.
WE MUST BE RELEASED FROM THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.
The truth is – it may not happen for me like it happened for others. What Jesus wants to do in my life is unique. The questions “How are others doing it?” and “How did it happen in the past” will cause us to serve too small a god.
Co-dependency… Getting your sense of value from another, instead of God.
How frightening must it have been for this man to walk out of town with a total stranger. There is no record at this point that the man has had any part in this. He has not asked to be healed.
WE MUST TRUST JESUS TO LEAD US INTO THE UNKNOWN.
Even after Jesus had not healed him instantly – he trusted Him enough to let Jesus lead him.
Then Jesus did something very strange. After he had the man alone, he spit on the man’s eyes. I looked at this throughout the scriptures. There wasn’t anything polite, or complimentary about this… It was then, just like it is today – a sign of disdain.
WE MUST NOT BE OFFENDED.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:66-68 (NIV)
Another example – Syrophonecian woman.
The question here is – will you be around for the real miracle? I think the biggest problem for most people – the reason that they do not receive the miracle, is that they give up on Jesus too soon.