Summary: God's work is sometimes slow and almost imperceptible. What is His work in your life like?

Then He came to Bethsaida;

and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. ðáñáêáëέù – to call alongside; to beg persistently

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. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Mark 8:22-26

Incredible and Imperceptible Growth

Introduction –

In March of 2006, the Associated Press and Ipsos surveyed 1,003 adults concerning Americans' attitudes and behavior regarding impatience. Some of the findings included:

• While waiting in line at an office or store, it takes an average of 17 minutes for most people to lose their patience.

• On the phone, it takes about 9 minutes for most people to lose their patience.

• Women lost their patience after waiting in line for about 18 minutes. For men, it was an average of 15 minutes.

• People with lower income and less education are more patient than those with a college education and a high income.

God works in ways we don’t often understand. Why does our spiritual growth take so long? What is God doing in my life? Why isn’t He doing more in me?

The Transition at Bethsaida-Julias

House or Place of Fishing; Rebuilt under Philip the tetrarch ;Renamed Bethsaida Julius after Augustus’ dtr (Joesephus) or wife Livia following his death; Fed 5,000 & healing of blind man

The ministry in Phoenicia

(deaf-mute healed in gentile territory)

The ministry in Decapolis

(4,000 fed in gentile territory)

The ministry in Dalmanutha

(demand for sign from Pharisees & Sadducees in Jewish territory)

There are transitions in life, some are spiritually as well

The Treachery of Blindness

The Darkness you reside in

Insomnia, loss of appetite, social withdrawal, loss of self-esteem, crying, & suicidal thoughts

The Dread you live in

Hallucinations, suspiciousness, paranoia, and alcohol abuse

The Despair you exist in

No hope, no help, no honor

Illustration - Stradivarius, Listen to the sound of the

Years ago, there was a master violinist in Europe. He would play in concerts, and he had a magnificent Stradivarius violin, extremely expensive. He would play the Stradivarius violin in concert and everyone would whisper in the crowd, "Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius." He would play in churches, and people would say, "Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius." He even played before kings and queens, and they, too, would turn to one another and say, "Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius." All the glory went to the instrument.

Then one day this master violinist was walking by a pawn shop. He noticed an old, beat-up, worn-out violin. He walked into the pawn shop and asked how much it would cost. The owner of the pawn shop told him the American equivalent of five dollars. He bought the violin, and he took it home. He polished it, and he refined it, and he tuned it, and he retuned it, and he built some character into that violin. Then, when he was to play the greatest performance of his life in a concert hall, he took out the little, five-dollar, worn-out, beat- up violin that he had polished and refined. He put it up to his chin, and he began to play, and everybody in the concert hall whispered, "Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius."

The work done in us is for His glory…not our own. Whether we are a Stradivarius or a cheap imitation, our hope rests in Him!

The Treatment of Jesus

First, it was Personal

Out of town; private;

He chose not to embarrass or make a spectacle of this man.

It was Practical

Spit, touch, question; he met him where he was.

And finally, it was Powerful

It was complete & perfect… 20/20 vision!

God’s work is ALWAYS good!

Illustration – Stradivarius Mystery

Perhaps the greatest of all Stradivarius mysteries is why no modern violinmaker has been able to replicate Stradivari's work. The violins of Stradivari's time were treated with a varnish made from the resinous material of any of a number of possible plants. We don't know what method Stradivari used to cook the resin (or for how long he cooked it), but its translucent sheen lent to the violins a robust whiskey color and may have also enhanced the wood's ability to echo sound so clearly.

We can measure the instruments' varying lengths (a little more than 14 inches), depths (about 11/4 inch), and width. Even a marginally talented copyist can make a violin with the specs of a Stradivarius. Yet no one has been able to make an instrument that yields the extraordinary tonal quality of a Strad.

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