Summary: Jesus still wants to lead people to transformed lives.
It’s All Fun & Games Until Somebody Gains Sight
July 30, 2006
Chester’s First Baptist Church, Chester, Illinois
Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A A family from a remote area was making their first visit to a big city.
They checked in to a grand hotel and stood in amazement at the impressive sight.
Leaving the reception desk they came to the elevator entrance.
They’d never seen an elevator before, and just stared at it, unable to figure out what it was for.
An old lady hobbled towards the elevator and went inside.
The door closed.
About a minute later, the door opened and out came a stunningly good-looking young woman.
Dad couldn’t stop staring.
Without turning his head he patted his son’s arm and said, "Go get your mother, son."
B 22 And they came* to Bethsaida. And they brought* a blind man to Jesus and implored* Him to touch him. 23 Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" 24 And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." 25 Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. 26 And He sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." Mark 8:22-26 (NASB)
1 The entire landscape of the blind man’s life was changed after he’d been alone with Jesus. (ETS)
2 Jesus still wants to lead people to transformed lives. (ESS)
3 I pray you’ll allow Jesus the freedom to move in your life any way He wants. (Objective)
C What are you doing to prepare for a fresh move of God in your life?
1 Let’s look at how two of the three faith-holders in our text dealt with God moving amongst them.
I Bethsaida Faith
A Bethsaida was little fishing village that did not boast of any great historical signifigance. (Not mentioned once in the entire Old Testament; no archeological evidence of exactly where it existed.)
1 In NT, significant for a few reasons. (Andrew, Peter, Philip were from this town)
a Near the place were 5K were fed by Jesus.
b Religious leaders asked Jesus to do a sign from heaven (8:11.)
aa Usher in a time of military/political supremacy for Israel.
bb Crush her enemies (Gentiles.) (Jesus just feed 5K of these enemies)
2 These were religious people in Bethsaida, but God rejected them (Matt. 11:21.)
a They had not responded to the message/miracles.
b In fact, after Jesus heals the blind man of Mark 8, He tells him not to even go back into the village of Bethsaida.
aa Bethsaida got all the opportunity they were going to get!
bb Religious? Yes! But these people did not have a relationship.
cc Knew the Torah, Law, Ceremonial washing, history of their religion but they were as a dead spiritually as a corpse.
B It’s a very dangerous thing to reject the message of God, harden our hearts to what God wants to do.
1 We can fall in love with religion that when God wants to move in a new way we put up a huge "Do Not Disturb" sign over our heart/church.
a We substitute devotion in a covenant (personal belief), with a devotion to Christ (personal relationship.)
b Like Bethsaida, we’ve go use to operating w/o God in our Church.
aa Content with things going a certain way, every week, every year . . . DO NOT DISTURB!
bb That’s the amazing about being open to God moving, You Can Still Be Surprised By The Power of the Spirit..
2 What if Jesus showed up for one of our services one Sunday?
a Overalls of a carpenter, shows up late, we give him a bulletin and he says with a grin, "We shall see."
aa Choir finishes with the call to worship, He enters the sanctuary and a few people fall in anguish because they have been battle with a demonic force for months, "Be Gone."
bb People come forward to be healed, weeping over sin, trembling in the presence of His holiness, singing, leaping with joy . . . This is not normal!
b "I can’t believe Pastor would invite such a radical into the pulpit.", "We’ve got to get this thing under control quickly.", or "Preacher, some of our best people left service today awfully upset."
c Churches/Christians will be different when through the power of the Spirit, Jesus shows up in a supernatural way.
aa Bethsaida didn’t want Him and . . . they didn’t get Him.
bb If we don’t want Him, . . . we won’t get Him either.