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Mark 8:22-9:1

Author: Kent Berghuis

With Eyes Wide Open
Mark 8:22-9:1

Main idea:  We must open our eyes to the person and plan of Jesus.

I.  Jesus came to open our eyes (22-26).
	A.  The healing of the blind man is linked to the healing of the deaf and mute man.
		--Jesus returns to Jewish towns after his Gentile excursions of ch. 7.
		--Jesus heals the blind man by using the sense of touch and by spitting, which recalls 7:33.
		--Between these miracles was the key teaching of 8:18, eyes and ears that fail to "see and hear."
		The Point:  The opening of physically handicapped eyes and ears was symbolic for faith.
	B.  The healing of the blind man is linked with Jesus teaching his disciples.
		--Jesus heals the man in stages.  At first the man did not have clear vision, but after a second
		touch from Jesus he could see clearly.
		--In the rest of the passage we see disciples who need their partial vision opened completely.

II.  We must see the personal identity of Jesus (27-30).
	A.  Many people have a limited view of who Jesus really is (28).
		--The disciples respond to Jesus' question by citing the latest opinion polls (cf. 6:14-16).
		--Herod thought Jesus was John come back from the dead.
		--Jewish tradition taught that Elijah would come back before the messiah (Malachi 4:5).  Jesus 
			would teach that John fulfilled this prophecy (9:11-12).
		--Others saw Jesus as one of many prophets--a great teacher, miracle worker, man of God.
		These answers are not much different than the kind of answers you might get today.
	B.  Jesus' followers must have a true understanding of who he is (29).
		--Jesus' question shows these other answers were inadequate.
		--Peter answers for the disciples, and he answers correctly.
		--"Christ" was a title meaning "anointed" (Hebrew is "messiah").  It was the title of the promised 
			"Son of David" who would come as Son of God to deliver/save his people.
		Do you understand who Jesus is?

III.  We must see the plan of Jesus (31-38).
	A.  The plan of Jesus meant that he would suffer, die, and rise again (31).
		--The leaders' opposition we have seen in the stories would climax in Jesus' death.
		--Jesus would be victorious by rising again.
	B.  We might sometimes fail to understand God's plan (32-33).
		--Peter again speaks for the disciples, but this time he is badly mistaken.
		--Peter has taken the part of Satan, the "adversary," who would keep Christ from his plan.
	C.  Jesus has a plan for those who would follow him (34-38).
		--Discipleship means self-denial (34a).
		--Discipleship means a willingness to suffer (34b).
		--Discipleship means a sacrifice of one's own life ambitions (35a, 36).
		--Discipleship means receiving from Christ new meaning to life (35b).
		--Discipleship means unashamedly associating with Christ (37).
		--Discipleship means catching a glimpse of the glory of Christ (9:1).

Conclusion:  Have you had your eyes opened to the full meaning of following Christ?  Have you decided to 
follow him completely?


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