January 20, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
This is another blog idea I gleaned from my pastor Ken. It is from the same scripture, the same passage in Mark from which I based last Friday’s blog, Mark 8:22 through 26:
And He [Jesus] came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him,
and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and
led him out of town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands
on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see
men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands upon his eyes again and
made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. And He
sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell any-
one in the town.”
I had never noticed before last Sunday’s sermon why Jesus first led the blind man out of town, and then second, why He forbid him from going back into town. The town was Bethsaida, just a mile east of the northern-most tip of the Sea of Galilee. And Bethsaida was cursed by the Lord!
It depends upon which Gospel you are comparing with Mark’s writing – Matthew or Luke. If Matthew is chronological, then Jesus cursed the town before He healed the blind man. If Luke is the chronological standard of comparison, the it seems He cursed Bethsaida after the healing. In any case the town – and others along with it – were cursed!
Why was Bethsaida cursed? The reason is given in Matthew 11:20 through 24:
Then He [Jesus] began to upbraid the cities in which most of His mighty works
had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to
you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been
done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and
ashes. But I say to you, It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day
of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven,
will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you
had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to
you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment,
than for you.
They rejected the Lord Jesus Christ! …even though He had performed signs, wonders and miracles in the midst of the people of these towns! The Holy Spirit had plainly shown forth the Savior, and they effectively said, “NO!” This is the unforgivable sin!
But the Lord still healed the blind man from Bethsaida! So He still calls out individuals, even though the town, area, nation, world stands under His curse!
Did He forbid the man healed from blindness to ever go home to his family? No, and that’s not the point here. The world is cursed! It has been ever since Satan usurped dominion over the earth that God gave to Adam (see Genesis 1:28; 3:18 and 19; Zechariah 5:3; Luke 4:5 through 7; Galatians 3:22 and Revelation 22:2 and 3). When we are called out of this world – the godless society of this age – we are still in the world, but not to be part of it. We are to be separate from such godlessness and witnesses unto Him. Jesus said of His disciples in John 17:6, 15, 16 and 21 (that order of the verses will give the best sense of this point):
I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the
world….They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world….I do not pray
that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them
from the evil one…that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Yes, we have been healed from the terrible malady of sin! Our blind eyes have been opened! But we are still in this world, to be witnesses of His grace, mercy, love and salvation!
Have you been healed by the hand of Jesus? Are you fulfilling His purpose for those who have received His touch? Think about it!