Mark 8:22-26 (On the Way to Caesarea Philippi)

After leaving the “region of Magadan” (Mat 15:39) and the “district of Dalmanutha” (Mar 8:10) and crossing the Sea of Galilee by boat, where did Jesus and the disciples land?  See Mar 8:22.  Where were they headed?  See Mat 16:13, Mar 8:27.  Locate Caesarea Philippi on a map; why were they headed to this remote area, so far north and removed from Israel proper?  See Mat 10:23, 12:1-2,22-24, 14:1-13, 15:1-2,12,21, 16:1.  What happened in Bethsaida on the way?  See Mar 8:22-26.  Who brought the blind man to Jesus?  What were they entreating Him to do, and for what purpose?  See Mat 8:3,15, 9:29.  Why do you think Jesus brought the man out of the village before healing him, and after doing so commanded him to “not even enter the village”?  What might this indicate about His desire to not draw any attention to Himself and “slip away” unnoticed during this time when the Jewish leaders were rejecting Him and He was withdrawing from them?  See also Mat 11:21 and consider the possibility that He would perform no more miracles in Bethsaida because of its unbelief, though He would still be moved by His disciples to act on behalf of one for whom they entreat Him.  What does this teach us about the danger of unbelief and a failure to repent and act in the day of the Lord’s visitation to us for salvation?  Cf. 2Co 6:1-2, Heb 3:7,13.  Should we suppose that because God so loved the world and He gave His only begotten Son, that He will tarry forever with men as they continue in their sin and stubborn rebellion?  Or should we be concerned that because He gave His only begotten Son for our sins, if we continue in our sins and heed not His mercies that we are all the more worthy of His just condemnation?  Should we be concerned that the sun may set on the day of our salvation before the time of our physical death?  Cf. Rom 9:22 and the example of Pharaoh.  Should we not be concerned that if we continue in our sins and heed not His mercies, that He will withdraw from us as He did from the unbelieving Jews to others who will bring forth the fruit of His kingdom, and that our crimes against God will be even more damnable in the day of judgment?  See Mat 21:33-41, Rom 2:4-5, Heb 10:26-31.

What did Jesus do to effect healing in the man’s eyes?  See Mar 8:23; cf. Mar 7:33, Joh 9:6.  What is unique about this healing miracle compared to all of Jesus’ other healing miracles?  What is the significance that it appears to have taken place in stages?  Note: “he looked up” in Mar 8:24 means “he regained his sight” when used in the context of the blind; see Mat 11:5, Mar 10:51, Act 9:12 for the same Greek word.  Although the man at first regained his sight in answer to the disciples’ request, and it was certainly a miracle that vastly improved his life, what was still amiss?  How is that like us in a spiritual sense?  When our eyes are first opened and we come to salvation we rejoice in the light we can now see to illumine our way so that we no longer stumble in darkness; but does that mean that we necessarily see everything clearly?  How much better is it to see anything than to see nothing?  How much better is it to see things clearly than to only see shapes?  Is there more to salvation than just seeing light?  How much greater salvation does the Lord have for us if we will allow Him not only to open our eyes to see, but also to touch them in order that we might see all things clearly?  By what means does He touch the eyes of our spirit to see and understand all things clearly?  See Deut 6:6-9, 11:18-19, Jos 1:8, Psa 1:2-3, 77:11-12, 119:11,15,97-105,130,165, Pro 2:1-3:4, Col 3:16, 2Ti 3:15-16.  Note: the Greek word for “clearly” in Mar 8:25 is thlaugw/j, which is an adverbial form from a compound that means literally a brightness or radiance shining from far (see Job 37:21, Psa 18:12), and hence something very conspicuous (see Lev 13:2,4,19,23,24 “bright” spot), or here, “to see clearly at a distance”.  With this understanding, what is the significance that in Psa 19:8 the same Greek word is used where we read that “the commandment of the Lord is pure (NIV = radiant), enlightening the eyes”?  See also Sol 6:10.  In what ways is the word of God like the sun that shines brightly and radiantly from afar, makes all things conspicuous, and allows us to see things clearly at a distance?  What does Mark say the man did just before he “was restored, and began to see everything clearly”?  See Jam 1:25.  Like this man, will we not only allow the Lord to touch and open our eyes, but also “look intently” into the perfect law of liberty in order that we too may begin to see everything clearly?

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