Jesus Opens, Restores and Sharpens Eyes

Mark 8:22-26

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

 

 

Here we have another miracle included by Mark that is meant to describe what Jesus is doing on a spiritual level as well as a physical level. I believe that is true because of what is happening in the lives of the Disciples. And the application to our own lives is that Jesus does this in our lives as well! The key verse is verse is verse 25

In verse 25 there are three verbs used to describe how Jesus gives the ability to see:

Eyes opened

Sight restored

Saw clearly

And in the story itself we see for the first time Jesus doing a miracle that is in more than one stage. Jesus acts, asks questions and then acts again for the individual to have a new ability to perceive their world. I think this is very good news and very hopeful!

 

  1. Jesus Gives Sight
  2. He opens eyes

The eyes do not function at all. They don’t gather the light   reflecting off of things and bring that information to the brain.

 

 

  1. He restores the ability to see something

The man sees people but they look like trees. There is no    question that this is better than not being able to see at all!

This is like having really bad eyesight. It’s better than blind!

 

 

  1. He gives the ability to see clearly

This is unique! A multi-stage healing process. The fact that this is         here should cause us to perk up and look for what Mark is   wanting to communicate with us!

I think the experience of the Disciples is key to our      understanding of what Mark is saying.

 

  1. Do the Disciples See?

 

  1. They have their eyes opened

So, they see.  What is it that they understand?

John 6:60-68

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

This story acts as a good example of the ability to see some things, but not everything. Greater clarity is needed.

How do we know that there is a need for understanding?

What is the reaction?

  1. This teaching is hard.
  2. Who can accept this? This should be rejected!
  3. People are grumbling

What is the solution to the reaction? This is the part where open eyes are indicated:

  1. Are you offended?
  2. Do you know that Jesus is God?
  3. Whose fault is the conflict?

 

  1. The Disciples know Who Jesus is

Peter’s confession in John 6:

69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Look ahead to Mark 8:

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

 

Because the Disciples know Who Jesus is, they look for more understanding from Him!

 

  1. From trees to people

This additional sharpening of eyesight is an ongoing reality of life for those who are following Christ.

Peter’s confession in Mark 8:29 “You are the Messiah.”

Peter can see Who Jesus is, but He does not see clearly what Jesus has come to do. He does not understand what God is wanting to do in the world, and therefore, what God is wanting to do in his life.

Peter’s confrontation in Mark 8:31-33

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

What does Peter look like when Jesus has fully clarified his eyesight?

Acts 2:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

III. What About Our Eyesight?

 

  1. Who is Jesus to you?

Flesh and blood does not reveal who Jesus is. It is God who shows us!

John 6: 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.

If you have the sight to see Who Jesus is, then it is because of the power of God in your life.

  1. What is Jesus doing in your life?

        Perhaps you might be saying to yourself: “Why is this happening to me?”

Relationship trouble

Family trouble

Work trouble

Health problems

Emotional difficulties

There are times when in our own lives we see people like trees. Perhaps I should say we see blessings as trials. In my own life, I find it easy to anticipate trouble and steer clear of it. I carry anxiety with me, I seek to control things that are not mine to control. The result is that I do not experience life to the degree that God intends for me to. The solution is to trust in the work of Christ on my behalf.

 

Using Peter as an example:

Peter argues with Jesus about whether or not he will deny Him. Peter denies that he knows Jesus three times. Why?

Jesus seeks Peter out and three times tells him to feed His sheep.

On the day of Pentecost Peter feeds Jesus’ sheep.

And I can guarantee you that Peter is fully convinced in the grace of God in his life!

So, using Peter as an example, when we lack clarity…

  1. Go to Jesus for further clarity

God knows that you do not know

God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts

We think like Job’s friends

God gives wisdom, but wisdom won’t help us if we are struggling with trusting what we hear.

The Disciples won’t leave Jesus, they know Who He is. We      need to adopt the same attitude.

“To Whom shall we go? You alone have the Words of eternal life.”

These words of Jesus in John 6 are the words of eternal life. He is the bread from heaven for us.

He is that which satisfies our very souls! Knowing Him is eternal life! And we are called to believe in Who He is and to embrace all that He is doing in our lives. The good is no problem. We need faith for that which is hard. Faith is the evidence of what is hoped for, it is the conviction of what is not seen.