Summary: People respond in different ways to God's revelation. Failure to believe God’s word and to take it seriously results in a deep spiritual blindness.
Signs, Signs Always looking for a Sign
The Book of Mark
A. Besides being the name of one of the books of the bible revelation is how God makes Himself known to us.
1. Revelation means the disclosure of something unknown or hidden.
2. The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines revelation as the…Content and process of God’s making Himself known to people. All knowledge of God comes by way of revelation. Human knowledge of God is revealed.
3. We wouldn’t know about God if He didn’t reveal Himself to us.
B. There are two essential ways God reveals Himself to us.
1. Natural revelation.
a) Ro.1 says that God has revealed Himself through natural means in the creation.
b) Job 12:7-9
e) Genesis 1:1 is God’s first statement to us about His existence and what He has done.
f) God’s revelation comes to man, not as information without obligation, but as a mandatory rule of faith and conduct.
g) Natural revelation, as important as it is and as obvious as it is, is not sufficient to tell us all that we need to know about God.
2. God has also revealed Himself through human means – special revelation.
a) Heb. 1 Tells us that God revealed Himself over the span of time through human beings namely prophets
b) These prophets wrote down what God revealed to them.
c) His revelation of Himself to us through human means was epitomized in Jesus Christ.
(1) He is the ultimate revealer of God.
(2) Jn.1:18“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. ” (John 1:18, NKJV)
(3) “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” ” (Luke 10:22, NKJV)
d) The product of special revelation is God’s word the Bible.
C. If as we have seen the revelation of God is ultimately His word in the Bible then what we believe about the bible and how we respond to it becomes very important.
D. The proper understanding of the revelation of God is essential to a proper understanding of God His plan and purpose and our part in it,
E. Do you believe it?
1. Are you willing to take God at His word or do you need some sign that it is true?
2. Are you willing to act upon the truth that you find in His word or are you going to just give it lip service?
F. Many people quote the bible and give their opinion of what they think it means.
1. Rather than take the time to read and study it they look for quick answers to what they want.
2. In their quest to sound religious they misuse or dismiss the bible.
3. Or because of their ignorance of the word they fail to apply it in their lives.
G. That is the case in the passage before us in Mark 8:11-21.
H. Jesus had finished His ministry in Gentile territory on the east side of the Sea of Galilee and returned to the west side.
a) This is the only use of this word in the NT.
b) Matt. calls it Magdala.
c) This is in the area near Capernaum which was His base of operation.
2. It is believed to be a small town located in that region but which no longer exists.
I. When they land He is once again confronted by the religious leaders and then after talking with them He warns His disciples about their influence.
J. These two encounters one with the religious leaders and one with His own disciples illustrate two problematic responses to God’s word.
1. One group represents people who do not believe and only look for some fantastic sign to “prove” it.
2. The other represents those who know the word but fail to pay attention to it and they become dull in their understanding.
II.Pharisees – Those who do not believe the word.
A. These were the strict observers of the Law.
1. They were expositors of the customs and the OT law.
2. They believed in the supernatural – angels and the coming resurrection.
3. They were the ritualists, legalists.
B. Matt. Adds that the Sadducees came out with them.
1. These were more socially liberal but theologically more conservative.
2. These men sought political power and influence.
3. They were from the affluent class and most of the High priests came from this party.
4. There was a great amount of animosity between these two parties – Acts 23