Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction: Who's Really Blind?

The Gospel of Mark tells the story of people who have a hard time seeing.

There's the "Blind Man at Bethsaida". Jesus puts spit on the man's eyes and asks him if he sees anything. The man is seeing some, but not seeing well.

Once again, Jesus puts his hands on the man's eyes and sight is restored.

(This is about the only time Jesus does a two-part healing. Was it because he couldn't do it all at once? Probably not since he raised dead people to life.)

A couple of chapters later we come across "Blind Bartimaeus" sitting by the side of the road. He gets word that Jesus is walking by and he begins to shout for Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus does have mercy, and heals him by simply saying, "Your faith has healed you."

But before, after, and in between these episodes, we see people who don't find sight so quickly or easily.

The disciples, followers of Jesus, can't seem to SEE what it is Jesus is all about:
- They tell children to stay away from Jesus
- They fight amongst themselves about which of the 12 is the "greatest"
- They are unable to cast out demons
- They fight with other people who ARE able to cast out demons because they weren't part of the 12!

Jesus has some of his harshest words for his followers:
- He calls them an "unbelieving generation"
- He rebukes Peter, the vocal leader of the 12 by saying, "get behind me, Satan!"
- He asks them "Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?"

Our family recently watched "Stranger Than Fiction" with Will Ferrell. (Spoiler Alert)

He hears a voice narrating his life. He finds out that it is an author who has been writing his life's story. He realizes she plans to kill him. He willingly lays down his life after he finds out how he will die.

The disciples didn't seem to understand why Jesus had come here and what he had come to do. Peter is rebuked because of this misunderstanding. Jesus, much like Will Ferrell's character, was willing to give up his life.

Some days I'm inspired by that story and ready to "deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus". Other days I think I'm as blind as the poor disciples.

Grace & peace

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