Big Gospel Idea: Jesus is patient and compassionate enough to give us a second look.
This past week, we took a look at Mark chapter 8 and we took a look at the first 26 verses! It was a huge passage of scripture to get through but it was very exciting as it really showed the love and compassion Jesus has for us even if there are times He gets a little frustrated with us.
In these 26 verses we see four types of events occur for the second time: Jesus feeding the masses, Jesus teaching his disciples (in a boat no less), Jesus arguing with the Pharisees and finally Jesus healing.
Each of these events are slightly different than their previous counter parts. Jesus feed five thousand men and in Mark 8:1-10, he only feeds four thousand people in total (so quite the smaller crowd). He then argues with the pharisees about a sign to show them to help prove he was the coming messiah in verses 11-13 and then he teaches his disciples in the boat to Bethsaida in verse 14-21, capping us off with the healing of a blind man in verese 22-26.
The healing is the most interesting part of this story because instead of directly healing him like he has done so many times, Jesus spits and puts his hands over the man’s eyes, removing them and asks him, “Do you see anything?” The blind man opens his eyes and says, “I see men but they look like trees.”
The question that is begging to be asked here is why didn’t Jesus heal the man outright this first time? Instead Jesus has to lay his hands on the man’s eyes once again and it’s only then that the man finally sees ‘everything clearly’. So here, it would seem that it takes Jesus’ two times to heal a man who is blind? Why?
Was this man’s sin that powerful? Was Jesus lacking power? Was there a lack of belief?
None of these answers seem adequate as Jesus had all the power he needed to heal this man in the moment. He doesn’t. Instead he chooses to heal this man in this particular way to send a message to us, the readers and to his disciples. Sometimes, it takes a couple of looks to finally understand what is happening.
My mom taught us a saying which goes “Hindsight is 20/20”. 20/20 being a reference to 20/20 vision which is ‘perfect’ vision where you see everything clearly. Sometimes we go through something and we have no idea why, at the time, we needed to go through such a trying or horrible time. Sometimes we don’t understand why a door is shut only for a window to open?
However, when you look back at your life, sometimes you get a new perspective. You’re able to see something that you weren’t able to see before. It may be because you’re older and wiser. It may be because you’re not longer with your nose to the grindstone and you can step back from that time and look at it with proper prospective. However, it might be because God has chosen to reveal something new to you that you hadn’t seen before.
Some of you have passed Jesus by because you took a look at him the first time and you weren’t all that impressed with him. You didn’t really understand what all the hype was about. You couldn’t understand why someone would subject their whole life to a man who lived 2000 years ago. Our challenge to you would be to take a second look.
I don’t know why you passed over him the first time. Maybe it’s because you’ve seen the hypocrisy of some Christians. Maybe you were in trouble and you prayed and nothing happened. Maybe you didn’t think (or worse: you were taught) that science and religion doesn’t match up. But now you’re older and wiser so why not take a second look. Now you might be able to look at the issue with some perspective and you’re able to take a step back and take a look around.
Maybe however, this is the time for you to take a second look because God is going to reveal something to you for the very first time. Maybe God is going to speak to you for the very first time and tell you of his love for you. Maybe you’ll understand the momentous sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and me and you’ll finally see him as Lord.
Friends, sometimes we just don’t get it the first time. Sometimes we need a second look. Sometimes we need a third or a hundredth look and Jesus is patient and compassionate enough to reveal to us who he is when we come humbly to his feet and submit to Him.
May you take a second look today and ask a Christian friend to help explain why they believe what they believe! Jesus wants you to come back to him again, and submit your life to Him as your Lord and Savior!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.