The Life and Teachings of Jesus – Part 20 – Time For Your Spiritual Sight Test

Time for your Spiritual Sight Test

(Mark 8: 10-26)

We are told in the opening verses that when he got to Dalmanutha the Pharisees come to him and begin to dispute with him. They had not come with an attitude of listening or learning, but of arguing. They also ask for a sign from heaven. Remember up to this point Jesus had given them plenty of signs, however they attributed those signs and miracles to the devil, they here ask for signs from heaven. Maybe they were looking for God to come down in a pillar of fire. Maybe they were looking for him, to part a sea again or to reign down bread from heaven. They were looking for something sensational. Jesus just sighed deeply, he groaned in His spirit because of their total lack of understanding and their unwillingness to see. He says to them , “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it. These Pharisee’s are blind, they did not understand that Jesus was the Messiah and they remain wilfully blind. (II Cor 4: 3-40) tells us that some people are just totally spiritually blind they chose to conclude that the very signs of God at work in the world through Him are just not real, in fact they are the work of the devil. Total spiritual blindness, its looking into the acts of God and seeing nothing of God in it.

Many people today are still confronted with the authentic Jesus and they still manage to walk away from that encounter thinking he was a great man or some sort of spiritual teacher or Guru. These people are spiritually blind, however, there is another group, some so pre-occupied with their physical needs they do not have a clear spiritual insight.

The narrative continues (Mark 8: 17-21) and we see they are not really learning anything from the past experiences. Another physical crisis comes along and then you say, Oh No! I do not have enough physical or emotional resources to deal with this issue. How soon we all forget. It seems sometimes no matter what the Lord has done in our lives we come upon the next crisis and we forget what he has taught us and we forget what He has done for us.

The next section sees the Lord doing something he has never done before (Mark 8: 22-23) continues the story.  The blind man is ministered to by Jesus and he looks up and says;  2I see people; they look like trees walking around.” This tells us, the Lord is healing him, however in every other case it was instant, and it was complete, but this time it is gradual and partial. The Lord is trying to teach a spiritual truth here that some of us don’t see clearly. We don’t see spiritual truths initially in clear focus, usually they need repeating or hammering home a few times. The Lord for many has to continue his work so we can see clearly.

Some people do not see at all, some are slow to see the significance, not’ just about salvation, but about all the spiritual truths that Jesus wishes to teach us. None of us are perfect, none of us understand all of god’s spiritual truths all of the time. It is the nature of spiritual growth that there is often gradual perception of spiritual truth.

Please note this particular passage is not primarily talking about spiritual blindness caused by immaturity. It is talking about spiritual blindness being caused by “hardness of Heart”. It is not talking about understanding some passage, or topic, or doctrine. It’s talking about blindness caused by forgetting God’s character and how he can meet your needs in the future evidenced by what he has already done it in the past. Have you noticed that personal crisis’ are often reoccurring, and a reoccurring problem always get bigger and bigger?  However, we should remember what the Lord dealt with this in the past, and how He will remain faithful to us in the future. Pause for a moment and choose to focus on the truth God is revealing to you. Focus on what the word of God plainly teaches about that thing.

The other thing that might stop you recognising spiritual truths is the fact that some people don’t ever listen to begin with. Some people don’t listen and when the do hear they don’t pay attention to what is plainly said. Jesus says in this passage, you have an ear, hear. You have been given eyes, see. I honestly believe that most of the important spiritual truths we need to understand are clearly there for us if we just have ears to hear and eyes to see. We just don’t listen, we simply don’t listen.

I want to conclude by asking one simple question. Are you one of those people who try and listen but are slow to get it some time? (hands up) What would you do if you had a problem with your physical sight? You would go to the optician and  you would listen to what the optician said, and then you would act on it. If you needed gasses you would probably buy a pair of glasses.  You would go visit the expert and you would listen, it’s no different when it is your spiritual sight. Stop what you doing, go to the expert, and listen to what He says. You may listening to this message today, and some of you will immediately start thinking about other things, some of you have stopped paying attention already. Some of you will know that you will have heard a spiritual truth and yet you will still  leave this building this morning and do nothing about it. I hope you listened this morning, and if you learned anything then you need to STOP and think about what you learned. Then you need to look where in the would and where in your life you need to apply it, otherwise you listen but you don’t learn.

You need to pause, sit down, and ponder what you have learned and listen to what God say you need to do about it. Listen to what God says you need to do, discern what action you need to take. When you hear something new I believe you have to pause a moment to re-focus on how that new truth fits in with the world around you, and the will of God. You have an opportunity to see things differently now, but you will only be able to do that if you stop and re-focus for a while. Our walk with the Lord has to have built into it a pattern of pauses to stop and look and listening to what he says, so that you can re-focus on where you go to in the light of the new spiritual view….

Let’s pray.

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