Jump Start # 2756
Mark 8:24 “And he looked up and said, “I see people, for I see them like trees walking around.”
Our verse today are the words of a blind man that Jesus healed. It’s a very interesting miracle. The text tells us that Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes and then laid His hands upon the man. Our verse is the response. Jesus again laid His hands upon the man and he then saw everything clearly.
It seems that the man had blurry vision at first. There are mountains of back-seat explanations that writers try to explain what happened. Some think it took more power than Jesus expected. Some believe the miracle just didn’t take the first time. Obviously, the man had not been born blind because he knew what men and trees were like. Others, kindly think that Jesus was doing this to allow the man’s eyes to adjust to the light. Some point to a lack of faith upon the blind man. Contextually, what happened was a lesson for the apostles. The miracles always point to things beyond themselves. Do you see anything…then, he began to see everything clearly, is where the Lord wanted the apostles to be. They had seen miracles. They had heard His words. But He wanted them to see everything clearly. If they only saw Jesus as Heaven did. If they only understood that He was God on earth.
But our passage has a lesson for us as well. It illustrates how many people see the Bible. They see only what they want to see. They see things, but it’s not clear, consistent and even Biblical. They build a theology that suits them. Happily, they believe that they are following God’s word, but it’s not a clear picture.
Some only see the Bible through the eyes of their family. The blood of family is thicker than the blood of Jesus to them. They would never, ever admit that someone in their family might be wrong with the Lord. So, they twist passages, ignore verses to justify unlawful marriages, disobedient attitudes and hearts that are not interested in worshipping the Lord’s way. They will hide behind the billboard of grace, thinking that nothing matters after that. One can do as they please, as long as they stand in the shadows of that giant billboard, Grace. The trouble is, their inconsistent way of looking at the Bible would allow other things that they currently do not agree with. Once the door of inconsistency is opened, it’s very, very hard to close it. Through the years, I have heard of preachers who changed their views and their sermons about moral issues to justify their rebellious children. What these preachers once preached, decades ago, they no longer preach. And, it wasn’t a change that came about from intense study of God’s word, but rather, the choice of accepting family.
Some only see the Bible through the eyes of their personal happiness. God’s word, they believe, is intended for them to be happy. And, whatever or wherever that takes them, happiness is the most important. So, subjects like social drinking, modesty, purity of heart and language, are never thought about, studied or considered. And, the reason is, the conclusions may not make them happy. And, being happy is what it’s all about. So, they carry a Bible right into the church building, content, satisfied and in their minds, justified. That is, until a preacher touches upon those very subjects that makes this person squirm in their seat. At the end of services, they will raise a complaint to the shepherds about such topics being preached. And, what has happened is that their little world of happiness has been invaded by the pure word of God and now they are uncomfortable. And, when this continues, off this person will go. They will find a church that allows them to dance with the devil. They will tell all who will listen that the former church was stuck on doctrine and way too narrow. Happily they walk through life, looking at only passages that will make them feel good. Subjects such as what Paul preached to Felix, judgment, self-control and righteousness, just doesn’t fit in the theology of happiness. Too many rules. Too many restrictions. And, as these folks walk through life, they have just enough Bible to make them feel good, but not enough to make a difference. Like the blind man, they see, but not clearly. They are not totally blind, but neither do they have the vision of Heaven.
I know these things because I have being on the receiving end of their complaints when toes were stepped on. Instead of being thankful for being shown the truth, angry words were spoken because their little darlings in the family have married and divorced without any regards to God’s law. “How dare you say that someone in my family is wrong,” is what one lady told me as she pointed her finger in my face. She then went on to tell me that “I know more Bible than you ever will.” She didn’t wait for me to reply. Off she stormed, mad as she could be. And, that little expression, “I know more Bible than you ever will,” swirled in my mind as I thought about kindness, love and correcting with gentleness. I guess she hadn’t gotten to those pages of the Bible yet.
I see, but do I see clearly? Have I allowed my situation to cloud my vision? Am I so content that I am unable to be moved by the Gospel message? Have I allowed family, happiness and pride to keep me from seeing God’s word? I do believe this is a problem among many. We can see the wrongs of others. We can talk about where other faiths made a wrong turn. But in our own situation, we are unwilling to see clearly.
We must allow the Lord to touch our hearts and open our eyes. Pride can keep us from seeing the truths of God’s word.
Open our eyes Lord…