"Practically Divine" - Week 4

We are taking a little extra time in Mark this week, because our two chapters are pretty full. Today, I’m going to guide you to several different passages. I would love for you to read, reflect, and even journal what you find.

In the first 10 verses, there is another situation where a large crowd has formed to listen to Jesus. They stay so long that it becomes time for a meal and there’s no food. You’ll notice that Jesus responds to this crowd almost exactly like He did with the crowd in Mark 6. The results are the same; the crowd eats until they are full and there are baskets of food left over. I found it extremely interesting that the disciples seem to have no recollection of what Jesus did with food multiplication just 2 chapters ago.

“His disciples replied, ‘But could anyone possibly get enough food to satisfy a crowd this size out here in this isolated place?’” (verse 4, TPT)

Ummmm…… Jesus can! Remember how He did exactly that when the last crowd gathered at dinner time. Goodness! Jesus’ disciples can be so forgetful. (Please read that with the intended sarcastic tone. And, YES, I’m including myself as a forgetful disciple of Jesus.)

Read Mark 8:11-13.

As you read, please notice the response of the people to Jesus. WHO are the people in this section of Scripture? How did Jesus respond to them?

In 8 chapters of Mark, we have repeatedly read about divisiveness and opposition to Jesus. It saddens my heart that it’s come from the religious every time. It’s so hard to believe, and it makes me so cautious in the way I react to, respond to, and confront issues of our day. If the religious interacting face to face with the living Jesus missed the gift of the Gospel because it didn’t line up with their religious expectation, I’m certainly not immune to missing it too. I have a significant dose of holy fear of accidentally opposing Jesus and clinging to religion.

Read Mark 8:14-26.

I am going to leave you with these verses to think on for the rest of your day. Please notice how much is included concerning sight. Jesus’ teaching on sight in these stories goes much deeper than simply seeing. I hope you’ll notice that as you read.

When you journal, think about these questions.

- What did the disciples have trouble seeing and understanding?

- What did Jesus want them to see clearly?

- How did Jesus heal the man who could not see?

- Why did He touch Him a second time?

Girls, Jesus is interested in our sight. He teaches and reteaches to ensure His point and message is clearly understood. He touches and retouches to make sure what is seen is reality. If we will stick closely with Him, though), He will cause us to see and understand what we couldn’t naturally understand.

His ways are so much higher than ours. But, He isn’t trying to keep secrets from us. I believe Jesus wants us to approach Him for deeper meaning and understanding. Let’s not be afraid to ask for the second lesson or the second touch. Sticking closely to Jesus is our only safeguard against falling for the ploys of our Enemy, this world, and our own selves.

After Jesus touched the blind man a second time, Mark said, “The man opened his eyes wide and he could see everything perfectly.” (verse 26, TPT)

This is our Jesus. In Him, we get to see perfectly. That doesn’t mean there won’t be Gospel mystery while we live on Earth. There will be some things we can’t know until we get to heaven. But, there is a depth of sight as understanding that Jesus wants us to have, and I think we are very wise to ask Him for it daily.

God, protect us from the temptations to assume and respond based on the way things look at first glance. You are always doing more than we can see, hear, or understand naturally. We don’t want to be people who “have good eyes but still don’t see and good ears but still don’t hear.” Apart from You, though, we will miss truth and reality every time. Convict us quickly when that happens. Draw us back to You, give us Your clarity, and set us on the right path. Amen.