Faithlife
Faithlife

Blind and Blurry

Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes & Transcripts

Eyes to See

Mark is making a big shift in his gospel beginning with our passage here this morning.
We are halfway through the gospel of Mark and we have seen Jesus traveling, healing, preaching, telling parables and he has been doing this in many different geographical locations.
Chapter 1-8:21 is Jesus’ Galileeian ministry.
But as we come to Mark 8:22 we see his focus is no longer on traveling to different areas. But rather he is now traveling to Jerusalem, where he will be crucified.
This section takes us from 8:22-10:52 and is bookended by two healing stories of blind men.
In these chapters there is a Three-fold pattern:
3x passion predictions
3x misunderstandings
3x teachings on discipleship
1:1-13 Introduciton: in the wilderness
1:14-8:21 Ministry in Galilee and beyond
a. 1.14-3.6 first phase of Galilean ministry
b. 3.7-6.6a second phase of Galilean ministry
c. 6.6b-8.21 third phase of Galilean ministry
8:22-10:52 On the way to Jerusalem
Framed by the healing of blind men 8.22-26 and 10.46-52
Three-fold pattern: passion prediction, misunderstanding, teaching on discipleship
11:1-16:8 Ministry and death in Jerusalem
Mark has been presenting Jesus as the great king who has come to save his people. And now this great king will make his way to Jerusalem to receive his crown
Isaiah 35:4–6 ESV
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
Isaiah 35:5–6 ESV
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
Mark is presenting Jesus as the great king who has come to save his people
Isa 35:
According to Isaiah when the king comes he will,
In the context of our passage this morning we see
Loosen the tongue of the mute
7.33 -
He will open the ears of the deaf
And open the eyes of the blind
In we see Jesus healing the deaf and mute man.
And now this morning we will see him open the eyes of the blind.
Thus presenting himself as the YHWH’s messiah, the chosen one, the great king who was promised.
Yet, in between these two healings we hear Jesus telling his disciples that they are in fact, deaf and blind to the reality of Jesus’ kingship
Mark 8:18 ESV
18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
Jesus contrasting his own disciples with the people he is healing.
In the context of our passage this morning we see
So lets look at Jesus healing of the blind man.
Mark 8:22–26 ESV
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
We see this man go from being blind (unable to see), to seeing, yet he couldn’t see clearly. His sight was blurry. To finally being able to see everything clearly.
Mark 8:22 ESV
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.
This is an outline of the disciples lives in the gospel of Mark.
When Jesus called these men he called them as spiritually blind.
They had no idea who it was that they were following.
They thought it might be a revolutionary
They thought it would be a new King for Israel
But they had no idea that this Jesus they were following was the prophesied Messiah - let alone God himself.
Jesus calls them out on this blindness in 8:18
Mark 8:18 ESV
18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
(this is also in contrast to the healings of the deaf, mute and blind men - the fulfillment of )
However, its going to take more than healings to open the eyes of the disciples, its going to take the resurrection of Jesus himself for them to truly see clearly.
So throughout the gospels the disciples go from being blind, like the man in the passage - to seeing blurry - to finally seeing clearly.
Lets look at vv.22-23
Mark 8:22–23 ESV
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”
So whats going on here?
Some faithful friends wanting to see their blind friend healed? maybe, or perhaps some people grabbed this blind man and brought him to Jesus so they could see one of these famous healings they have been hearing about.
Jesus disappoints by not putting on a show, rather Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village.
Jesus’ actions struck me this last week.
Jesus took the blind man...
What would it be like to be this man?
To live a good part of his life blind, having to battle the chaos that is all around him without being able to see. Then to have the hand of the creator, the king of peace take hold of your hand and lead you out of the chaos into the presence of peace.
To be constantly disconnected with the people around you. Being treated like less than human, not having relationships that are emotionally connected, not experiencing the warm compassionate moments that come from being in harmony with loved ones.
Then, to have the compassionate hand of Jesus take you by the hand, lead you out of that place isolation and into his loving presence.
This is what Jesus does,
He takes the broken hearted and gives them love
He takes the sinner and give him righteousness
He takes the sad and gives them joy
He takes the tormented and give them peace
He takes skeptic and give them truth
and he takes the empty and gives them an unfading glory
He takes the blind and gives them sight
It is good to be taken by Jesus - and if you are in relationship with him this morning it is because he has taken hold of you and has called you his own.
I went through the entire book of Mark finding where Jesus takes people compared to when people take Jesus. and this is what I found.
When Jesus takes people - there is blessing
when people take Jesus - it is evil.
We should not get this principle confused. The Christian life is about us being taken by God for his glory. It is not about us taking God for our glory.
So what did Jesus do when he took this man?
Mark 8:23–24 ESV
23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”
Mark 8:23-24
This is a two part healing,
We see here that he goes from being blind to seeing blurry.
This miracle demonstrates that it is Jesus who begins the work, and it is also Jesus who finishes the work.
As Jesus has begun the healing for this man, and as Jesus has begun a work in the disciples lives, so Jesus has begun a work in our lives. And he is faithful to continue this work from being blind, to seeing blurry, to seeing clearly.
Mark 8:25–26 ESV
25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Jesus again puts his healing hands on this man’s eyes and brings complete healing.
He is now able to see everything clearly!
Jesus then tells the man to go home, but not to go back to the village.
We see Jesus healing this man in two stages. The Man goes from blind, to being able to see, but its blurry, to finally being able to see clearly.
This healing is intended to echo the disciples and their spiritual blindness.
Remember in 8:18 Jesus told the disciples they were blind, and what we see next is a movement from being blind to seeing blurry
We see in verses 27-30 Peters blurry confessio

The Blurry Confession

Mark 8:27–30 ESV
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
Here Jesus asks his disciples two questions
Who do people say that I am?
Who do you say that I am?
The first question is answered by saying that some say you are
John the Baptist
Elijah
One of the prophets
Up to this point Jesus has been called many things,
Jesus called people to repent
Elijah performed miracales (16 miracles)
Pharisees have called him drunk and and a glutton
Jesus performed Miracales
His parents said he was out of his mind
The Prophets taught with authority.
The Prophets taught with authority.
The Scribes said he was a demon
People in his home town scoffed at him as a commoner
Now he begins to get some good press...
Though being called john, Elijah or a prophet could be taken as a compliment this answer is so wrong
John is the forerunner, he is the one who is to prepare the way of the Lord, he is the one who is to decrease so Jesus can increase.
John is nothing more than a man - Jesus is the King
Elijah
Elijah performed some of the greatest miracles in the OT, he rebuked kings, he taught the truth of YHWH with boldness and zeal - Yet Jesus is the one he spoke about. Jesus is YHWH in the flesh. It was Jesus who gave Elijah his power to call down fire from heaven.
Elijah is nothing more than a man - Jesus is God
Prophet
The prophets of old testified to the coming king. Jesus is the coming King. Jesus is not paving the way for another to come after him. Jesus is the final word of God’s revelation.
So to say that Jesus was John, Elijah, or a Prophet was so far off. Though the press might sound good to the disciples, it was not even close to the truth of who Jesus was.
So Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am”
Peter steps forward and says, “you are the Christ”
This confession comes right at the center of the book of Mark.
This whole time the disciples have struggled to know who Jesus truly was.
They have questioned him, they have doubted him, they have been frustrated with him, they have not once confessed him as king.
The closest the disciples have gotten to a recognition of who Jesus truly is was when Jesus calmed the storm and the disciples said, “Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey him”
And now, the the first time we hear the disciples confess Jesus as the Christ!
Was Peter correct in this confession? had Peter gone from being blind (8.18) to now being able to see clearly?
That all depends on what Peter meant by “the Christ”
The Christ
The word Christ in the bible is the greek term for the Hebrew Messiah.
The Hebrew word Messiah means anointed one.
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come to rescue them from the pagan oppressors.
In fact, Psalm of Solomon chapter 17 says,
Well first...
The Psalms of Solomon is a collection of 18 psalms ascribed to Solomon. These Psalms were probably written around 63BC because they reflect the pain and hope of a group of devout Jews during the first Roman invasion. These psalms were probably used in different liturgical settings in the temple.
They are not canonical, or should I say we do not hold them as authoritative as we do the scriptures, but they give us wonderful insight into the minds of the Jewish people around the time of Christ.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary Psalms of Solomon

A collection of 18 psalms ascribed to Solomon. They seem to reflect the pain and hope of a group of devout Jews in Jerusalem near the time of the first Roman invasion (63 BC) and seem to have been used in liturgical settings.

So see here what the Jews were waiting for with their coming Christ.
See, O Lord, and raise up their king for them,
a son of David,

23 [See], O Lord, and raise up their king for them,

a son of David,

for the proper time that you see, God,

⌊to rule over Israel your servant⌋.

24 And undergird him with strength to shatter unrighteous rulers.

25–26 Cleanse Jerusalem from the nations that trample it in destruction,

for the proper time that you see, God,
to rule over Israel your servant.
And undergird him with strength to shatter unrighteous rulers.
Cleanse Jerusalem from the nations that trample it in destruction,
The Messiah was to come and he was to bring a new kingdom.
The Christ means the Messiah - In the Jews mind there was no divinity attached to the Messiah.
They never thought that God himself would be the Messiah.
They just thought the Messiah would be a man who comes and conquers the enemy.
This is what Peter had in mind when he confessed that Jesus was the Christ.
Jesus then rebukes the disciples for this confession and charges them to tell no one.
Mark 8:29–30 ESV
29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
Mark 8:
The reason Jesus rebukes Them is because though they are getting closer, that Jesus was indeed the Christ, their sight was still very blurry, as they had no idea what the Christ was going to be or do when he came.
Jesus then helps bring clarity to the disciples when he talks about what is going to happen to the Christ they confess.
This takes us to the last section where we see Jesus teaching the disciples about what is going to happen to him when they make it to Jerusalem.

The Blind Rebuke

Mark 8:31–33 ESV
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
For the first time in the gospel Jesus foretells his death and resurrection in an explicit way.
Notice in verse 32 Marks tells us that Jesus said these things plainly
unlike many of Jesus’ teachings thus far, this teaching is straight forward, unambiguous, and easy to understand.
He says, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
The notion of the Messiah suffering, being rejected, and killed does not compute with Peters Jewish sensibilities.
The Messiah is coming to be accepted by the people, he is coming to make the enemy suffer, not suffer himself. He surly he won’t die, for he is going to establish the everlasting kingdom.
Peter took him aside...
Notice here who takes who aside
In the previous story Jesus took the blind man aside and healed him
Now Peter is taking Jesus aside and began to rebuke him.
Again… Jesus takes us, we don’t take him.
When Jesus takes us we are blessed
When we take Jesus we mess everything up
So Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, but Jesus stops him.
You see Peter, though he just confessed that Jesus was the Christ, he really didn’t know what it meant to be the Christ.
Thus again showing that he is not seeing clearly, he still has blurry vision
Peters vision of the Messiah is like the vision of the blind man when he looks and sees tress walking
Jesus turning to all the disciples rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me Satan!”
More clarity is needed. And Peters blurry vision results in him rebuking Jesus.... Not a good idea
Jesus responds by turning to all the disciples and rebuking Peter says, “Get behind me Satan!”
Mark 8:33 ESV
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
You see, Peter’s burry vision concerning who Jesus is is not only wrong, but Satanic!
Peter wanted Jesus to take the crown without the cross
This is the same vision of the Messiah that Satan offered Jesus in the wilderness temptations
look with me at
Luke 4:5–7 ESV
5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
Notice again, who takes who? The devil took Jesus...
Satan is offering Jesus all the authority and glory of all the kingdoms of the world without having to suffer and die.
Satan was offering Jesus the crown without the cross
This is the same vision that Peter has for Jesus,
Yet the true kingdom Jesus is establishing is only accomplished by going to the cross.
Mark 8:33 ESV
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
After saying “get behind me, Satan!” Jesus says, “For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Peter as a citizen of God’s kingdom is not setting his mind on the things of the king, but rather on the things of man.
For Peter to have clear vision his mind must be set on the things of God.
To make sense of suffering Peter’s mind must not focus on man’s kingdom, but on God’s kingdom.
Because God’s kingdom is made of living stones (which peter goes on to teach in his epistles)
These living stones are the lives of the redeemed people.
God’s people are redeemed at the cross.
For Jesus, no cross, not redemption, no redemption no kingdom. Therefore, no cross no kingdom
For us today, to have clear vision, we must set our minds on the things of God.
Life will be perpetually blurry when our minds are set on the things of man.
God’s love, peace, joy, power, truth and righteousness are only experienced when our minds are set on the things of God
When our minds our set on the things of man
Politics will cause us to doubt God’s power
Chaos will cause us to doubt God’s peace
Circumstances will cause us to doubt God’s love
We have a great hope, that God is making all things new, that he is advancing his kingdom on earth and is in the processes of recreating all things - we only experience this hope when our vision is clear, and our minds or set on God.
Lets pray
INTRODUCE COMMUNION
This week our vision of who God is has been blurry. We have struggled to set our minds of God. As you come to the table your vision does not have to be clear, but rather let Christ reorient your minds as we renew our covenant with God. Here is our hope, that though we struggle to see clearly - Jesus sees all things clearly. And he is the one who is faithful to keep his covenant with us. Though you come to the table with blurry vision, come with confidence because Jesus see’s clearly.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →