Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, December 7, 2014

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This chapter might be called the Blind Chapter.  The previous chapter ends with the exclamation that, “He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”  We are then ushered to the grassy slope overlooking the Sea of Galilee for the feeding of four thousand hungry men and women and children (Matt. 15:38) who had walked a great distance to come to listen to the Great Teacher. At every opportunity, Jesus sought to relieve the suffering human condition.

 

Despite the abundance of miracles set against a backdrop of feeding a group of people the size of a small army, in verse 11 the Pharisees seek a “sign from heaven.” These teachers willingly chose blindness—Life and Truth were standing before them and they could not see Him.

 

The disciples appeared to be in no better condition.  In verse 15 Jesus warned them about the leaven of the Pharisees and not become blind like them.  But blindness had already enveloped them for they missed His point completely!  They thought Jesus was talking about bread.

 

But for the condition of blindness, both physical and spiritual, Jesus has the cure.  In verse 22 a blind man is brought to Jesus. He spit on his closed eyes as if to re-fashion them from the clay that Adam had been molded and from whence his malfunctioning body had been received; and the Creator of the Universe gave this man a new pair of eyes.

 

O, how I wish verse 33 preceded verse 29.  In verse 33 the Devil, operating through Peter, was rebuked and in verse 29 the eyes of Peter were momentarily opened and he caught a glimpse of who Jesus as the Christ.  But alas, like the newly created eyes of the blind man, Peter could only see partially and the view fades in verse 33—it would take Peter time.

 

How do we gain our eyesight?  How do our spiritual eyes become fully functional?  By allowing the water of life—applied by God’s own hand—to wash over them. In order for this to happen you must draw near to the Creator.  Verses 34-38 set forth requirements and ask questions regarding eternal eyesight. Seeing begins by surrender, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Revisit those final verses and, as you do, realize that you are entering into an intimate conversation with your Lord—the One who is ready to give you sight.

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference