In this unique miracle, found in Mark 8:22-30, Jesus heals the blind man in two steps. This dual approach reveals the truth about spiritual blindness: it is both pervasive and utterly unable to be healed by human effort. As Pastor Mark teaches, once we “see” our addiction to self-sufficiency, we then cry for greater clarity. Like he did with the blind man, Jesus touches us a second time, bringing salvation and complete restoration. He asks Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Through Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ,” Jesus declares His sufficiency to clear our vision and meet our every need.
“Now to you who believe, this Stone is precious.” Everyone has a cornerstone; something they try to build their life around and on. But unless this foundational stone is Christ,
the building of our lives becomes misaligned and unsteady. Pastor Mark unpacks the architectural symbolism of I Peter 2: 4-9, revealing the reality and reason for the preciousness of Christ, our perfect Cornerstone.
“Jesus sighed deeply,” Mark 8:12 records, because He felt intensely frustrated with the unbelief of the Pharisees, Herodians, and even His own disciples. Like us, they were listening to the wrong messages, predisposed to a works’ righteousness, and determined to complete an external checklist to make them right with God. Like us, they also focused on the mundane, not remembering God’s adequate power. But Pastor Mark suggests (from Mark 8:11-21) that Jesus longs for us to turn from our troubled focus and turn to Him in childlike faith and dependence. God desires that we cast our daily cares and momentary worries on Christ. Ultimately, He desires to bless His children who cast themselves on Jesus. Why? Because He deeply cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7).
- Cleansing for our Inadequacy -
“They worship me in vain. Their teachings are but rules taught by men.” The Pharisees had taken the Old Testament cleanliness rules and distorted them into a means of making themselves presentable and acceptable to God. They refused to see their own heart’s motivation, choosing instead to focus on outward moral behavior to heal the infection of their inadequacy. In Mark 7:1-23, Pastor Mark connects the Pharisees’ obsession with cleanliness to our own inner drive for acceptance and adequacy. This misguided striving for moral rightness illuminates a faulty theology of sin, self and God’s priorities. Christ rebukes this perspective, declaring His personal acceptance, adequacy and cleansing as the only means of healing the infection of our inadequacy.