20 Feb. Mark 8:22-29

20 Feb. Physical sight and Spiritual sight

"Jesus and his followers came to Bethsaida. There some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch the man."

"So Jesus took the blind man's hand and led him out of the village. Then he spat on the man's eyes and put his hands on the man and asked, 'Can you see'?"

"The man looked up and said, 'Yes, I see people, but they look like trees walking around.' Again Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then the man opened his eyes wide and they were healed, and he was able to see everything clearly..."

"Then Jesus and his followers went to the [Gentile] towns around Caesarea Philippi. While they were travelling, Jesus asked them, 'Who do people say I am?'"

"They answered, 'Some say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah, and others say you are one of the prophets.' Then Jesus asked, 'But who do YOU say I am?'"

"Peter answered, 'You are the Christ.'"

          (Mark 8:22-29)



Two incidents recorded next to each other by Mark. And both are closely connected! Did you spot the link??

Two years into his ministry, Jesus visited Bethsaida on the north east corner of the Sea of Galilee during the summer of 29AD. Jesus performed yet another miracle - he healed a blind man by placing his hands on the man’s eyes. The man could then see - physically - and the crowds understood that Jesus was someone special who could cure physical ills.

From Bethsaida, Jesus and his disciples travelled north beside the River Jordan to the Gentile villages around Caesarea Philippi, leaving behind the bustling activity of the Jewish towns beside Lake Galilee.

Away from the noise and the attention of the Jewish crowds, Jesus asked the disciples who people really thought he was. Some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist, returned from the dead (see Mark 6:16); others thought he was Elijah (who they believed would appear before the Messiah (see Malachi 4:5) or one of the Old Testament prophets.

Jesus then asked the disciples for their own opinion. In a breath-taking leap of faith, Peter said he believed Jesus was actually the Messiah – the 'Christ' - the 'anointed one' sent by God.

As we saw yesterday, the crowds recognised that Jesus was a miracle-worker who could restore the sight of a blind man. This showed them that God worked miracles through him and he could restore physical sight.

But the crowd still lacked spiritual insight - When asked who Jesus was, they were spiritually blind! They couldn't see how these miracles told them who Jesus really was!

Instead, they were spiritually blind - they thought Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. Only his closest friend Simon Peter had spiritual sight - and realised that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one promised by God.

The photo shows remains of the temple to the Roman god Pan at Caesarea Philippi.

You can read more about Caesarea Philippi @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/5-jesuss-jo…/who-is-jesus/.

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