Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida

This is written by Abi Bailey. She is a student, head-kicker and daydreamer with big hair.

Mark 8:22-9:1

Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spat on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, 'Do you see anything?'

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

25 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. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, 'Don't even go into the village.'

Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, 'Who do people say I am?'

28 They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.'

29 'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?'
Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah.'

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus predicts his death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. 'Get behind me, Satan!' he said. 'You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'

The way of the cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.'

And he said to them, 'Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.'

Reflection

Today on my morning commute the train was full, except for one seat a man was using for his backpack. After a lot of passive aggressive stares, someone coughed angrily (awkward English people) and the man called out "Is it full?". He was blind, much to the embarrassment of everyone judging him.

Maybe if I was Jesus I might have offered to spit in his eyes (ew). But I am not Jesus, I am just a normal person. Like the man on the train, the blind man couldn't see what everyone around was trying to show him until he asked. I won't know what God is trying to show me until I ask. The difficult bit is actually being prepared to see when I ask, and not just to see what I wanted to, or what I expected.

In the first 10 verses, Jesus performs a miracle and predicts his own future, and then warns them not to brag about him. Why wouldn't he want the blind man to tell everyone about what had happened? Why didn't he want Peter and the others to tell everyone that he was the Messiah? What's clear is that people didn't just need to be friends with him to witness the power of God.

The passage says that there is the opportunity to see the power of God before we die. But to see it we need to ask and be prepared for God to answer. Power is scary, especially when you don't have any yourself, and it's okay to freak out when you see it. But then try again. See enough to convince yourself, and then ask to see more.

Pray for courage, excitement, and to see the power of God.

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