January 17, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
My pastor Ken delivered a great sermon Sunday. It was based on a portion from Mark 8, and I got several ideas for blogs from what he said. But, then again, I always do! I am constantly on the lookout for blog ideas, and I glean them from many sources. But Pastor Ken is one of the best!
Mark 8 contains an incident near Bethsaida, a town in Jesus’ day that was situated on the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee, a little to the east. Here is the account from 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.”
There is a lot we could say about this miracle, and I probably will say more in future blogs. But I want to concentrate on what the man said in verse 24, “I see men like trees, walking.” This blind man needed two touches by the Lord. Why? While the first touch of Jesus restored his natural sight, he needed a second touch to see spiritually and properly. I say ‘properly’ because God designed people originally to see as He sees. And Jesus came to restore us back to the Father’s original design before Adam and Eve messed it up by giving in to Satan’s temptation!
The blind man first saw “…men like trees, walking.” We too often see people like trees. And what do we do with trees?
• We can enjoy them – their shade, their beauty, their fruit or nuts – but we use them!
• We can make use of lumber, wood pulp for paper, and a lot more. A website by the Idaho Forest Products Commission, listing a couple of hundred products from trees, makes the comment that there are “…thousands of products we get from trees.” We use them!
• During Pennsylvania winters, we burn wood to supplement how we heat our house. And although I select standing dead wood or fallen trees that are still solid for firewood, I harvest about six cords of wood a year. So I use trees!
• Sometimes trees are a nuisance – just in the way. And what do we do with trees that are in the way? We cut them down!
I think you get the idea – trees are to be used for our benefit, or cut down and taken out of the way if they are in the way. So if we see “…men like trees, walking…,” then we will tend to use people for our benefit – or cut them down to get them out of our way!
Is that the way God wants us to see people? How does He see them? In Hebrews 12:2 it is written, “Looking unto Jesus…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Considering the horribleness of the cross – physical, emotional, relational and spiritual torture beyond description – what joy could have been so great as to make Jesus Christ endure the cross? That joy was us – you and me – reconciled to and in fellowship forever with God! That’s how God sees people! He loves them and seeks the best for all mankind! He even died to accomplish that!
Now, how much different is that from seeing “…men like trees, walking…”?
When we are saved – the first touch from the Lord in our healing – we are only just set to begin the life-long process of becoming more and more like Jesus. That process – the second touch – helps us to see the world as God sees it. But that usually takes a long while. We need as followers of our Lord to be in His Word, to allow Him to change our everyday thinking, our general world view, our words, our actions – everything about us – to be like Jesus.
Check your vision! Do you see Men Like Trees Walking? Or are you allowing Jesus’ second touch to transform your vision so that you see with the eyes of the Savior?