Repent of your sin. Turn to Jesus and believe in him.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Jesus has fully revealed himself to the world as the Son of God and humanity's hope for salvation. His witness and the work of his life was sufficient to fulfill God's law, bridging the canyon between a holy God and His fallen creation. Despite this, we find ourselves among neighbors, family, and co-workers who are blind to the truth of this Gospel. What does it say about the state of the human heart that so many are unable to see what God has deemed a clear and sufficient message?
Pastor Andy introduced the sermon passage by reviewing what had come before in the Gospel account of Mark. After Jesus miraculously fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves of bread, the Pharisees began arguing with him. They demanded more signs from Jesus to validate his claims. Jesus groaned, refused them any more signs, and left. Shortly after this, Jesus and the disciples are met by the blind man, and Jesus healed him. Why did Jesus heal the blind man but refuse the Pharisees their signs?
Mark 8:22 describes a group of people bringing their blind friend to Jesus. They beg Jesus to touch the man and heal his sight. The friends of the blind man knew that only a miracle could heal his malady, so in love and faith they brought him to a miraculous healer. Considering this example from Scripture, how can we bring those in our lives who are spiritually blind to Jesus for healing?
Father, we know that we came into the world blind to the truth of the Gospel, and in grace You have lifted the veil so that we can know the truth and be set free. This was not because we are worthy, but because You are a benevolent Father, overflowing in love, Who has secured our hope at great cost. In our unworthiness, we often turn away from Your truth to pursue sins old and new. Thank You, Lord, that you are a patient Father and a miraculous healer who knows our hearts. We beg that You would touch us, ridding our hearts of obstinance and giving us a clear vision of Your glory. Compel us, oh Lord, to bring the blind among us to You for healing and true sight.
"Shine Into Our Night"
Sovereign Grace Music
Don't be Distracted by the Things of This World. Listen to Jesus.
We live in a society that is overflowing with distractions. From cell phones and television to our jobs and our friends, there are so many things that can capture our attention. While none of those things are inherently bad, they can become a problem when we allow them to turn our eyes and ears from Jesus. What things in your life do you find yourself paying more attention to than Jesus and His word?
In the sermon on Sunday, Andy explained that despite all the miracles Jesus had performed, a mere mention of bread was enough to distract the disciples from what He was trying to tell them. Jesus was warning the disciples about the Pharisees when He said, “Watch out; beware of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod,” (Mark 8:15) but they began to worry about not bringing bread with them on the boat. As we read this, we easily see the disciples’ mistake, yet we are often as easily distracted as they were, letting something as basic as food steer us from where our attention should be. What are some things you can do and practices you can put in place to keep your eyes fixed firmly on Jesus and avoid being distracted by the things you discussed in your answer to our first question?
Jesus responds to them by asking them how they could not understand what he was trying to say. But the problem is, they were blurry-eyed and could not see or understand clearly. They believed, but things were still blurry for them and they were distracted. When Jesus first healed the blind man, he had sight but it was blurry. The disciples saw Jesus similarly, not fully understanding and letting other things blur their vision. The blind man was seeking out Jesus to give him sight. Have you gone to Jesus and asked Him to lift the veil from your eyes, or do you seek answers elsewhere? Do you have sight but need to listen more clearly to understand what Jesus is trying to say to you? If so, go straight to Jesus because He alone can give you eyes to see.
Father, we know that you are worthy of all of our praise and attention. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to be distracted by the things of this world. Help us to keep our eyes always on you and to come directly to you for clarity and sight. We pray for those in our lives who are lost, that they might receive the sight and salvation that only You can give.
"Christ Is Enough"
Honor Jesus as King.
Pastor Andy eluded to the fact that to see Jesus clearly is to see him as a suffering servant. The call of Jesus on our lives is to take up our crosses and to follow him no matter the cost. We are to walk toward the kingdom, trusting that Jesus has walked this path before us and that we have a caring Father to watch over us. Are you willing to see clearly and follow Jesus the suffering servant?
To see Jesus clearly is to see him as King over all including your life. The Theologian Abraham Kuyper once wrote, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!". As we have discussed over the past few days, at times we get distracted and look away from Jesus. Other times we willfully do so. What things are you tempted to withhold from the rule of Jesus on your life?
One of Pastor Andy's closing thoughts had to do with the patience of Jesus toward us when we become distracted or when we fail to see him clearly. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, his patience is something to be incredibly thankful for! Take a few moments and consider the times when the Lord has been patient with you. Talk about where and when you have seen his patience in your life and praise him for it together.
Heavenly Father we are Thankful that you care for us and that you watch over us. We praise your patience and admit that we are needy of it. We confess the many times that we do not see Jesus clearly when we willfully do so and when we become distracted by the cares of this world. We ask that the Holy Spirit would continue to remove the blur from our sight and that we would increasingly see, trust and follow Jesus.
"Everything And Nothing Less"
Austin Stone Worship