Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Have You Seen This Man? - Feb 27

Nobody knows for sure what Jesus actually looked like. He was Jewish to be sure, and likely had a Mediterranean (meaning dark) complexion. However, that is not the main point of this devotional. The question we really ought to be asking ourselves is 'Has Jesus opened my eyes so that I may see Him?'.

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 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?"

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

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. (Mark 8:22-25)

We must make an important distinction here: This is ONE miracle in two parts, not two miracles, the first one incomplete and the second one completed. Why the 'in-between' stage where the blind man has his sight only partially restored? First of all, Jesus is putting His sovereign power on display. Everything He does is for a reason and in its due time. Secondly, and most important of all, Jesus wishes to show us three basic levels of faith:

Complete Blindness

This is where the majority of people lie. They may be 'good', but have little or no use for the Bible or church. The broad path to destruction has become a comfortable place to stay and they see no reason to change.

'Trees walking around'

These love to compare themselves with themselves (bizarre circular logic if you ask me) or against others. These are those who've found religion but never found the forgiveness that only Christ can bring. They read the Bible, go to church and bore us to death with their list of good deeds. 'Good' indeed! But they've never really had an encounter with the Divine such as the prophet Isaiah:

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5)

Mere religion without genuine repentance still leaves us blind. Those having ears that do not hear and eyes that do not see are a sorry sight to behold.

Full Restoration of Sight

Oh, blessed are those that truly see Him for who He is! Why is it that so many are angry with God? Why is Jesus' name dragged through the mud on a daily basis? I'll tell you why: Ignorance. Their eyes have not been opened by the Holy Spirit. Violence masquerading as love is the epitome of false religion. Yet so many falsely attribute these problems to Jesus' teachings. This I think is where God wants us to be. To have our eyes opened to the Messiah.

Hope you enjoyed my first full-time devotional. I've got some other links I'd like to share:

Check out this cool photo essay of naval gunfire from Be warned it may take time to load. I have a 248 kbps modem and it loads reasonably quickly for me. Just watch the Stratfor logo as it fills up.

Part two of a never ending road trip for six GFA missionaries in Andhra Pradesh. Part one can be found here from an earlier post.

A Saudi columnist laments the expulsion of Christians from Arab lands. The more I learn of the ME, the more intrigued I become. It is much more layered and complex than what we think.

Eight evangelists in Jordan have been arrested. May God see them through their ordeal with strength and grace.

Johnny Cash

No comments: