That video actually had me at first…then I couldn’t stop laughing. I was looking for videos of people who could see after getting cataract surgery and came across this. It’s apropos for our text this week in our study of Mark – we’ll be reading ch 8:1-26.
Blindness, or maybe we could say blind spots are a running theme through this section. Blindness to solutions; intentional, spiritual blindness; presumptuous blindness as well as physical blindness – it all finds its way into the first 26 verses of chapter 8.
V 1-9 describe a nearly identical miracle to the feeding of the 5,000 in chapter 6. This one happens, most likely, in the Decapolis among gentiles. In light of that, what does this miracle tell us about God’s intent for the gospel?
Our first bit of blindness isn’t called as such, but the disciples certainly seem to have trouble seeing what Jesus intends to do. Why do you think they respond the way they do? What do they see when Jesus explains his heart and makes his request? What do you think Jesus wanted them to see?
We get another round of attacks from the Pharisees in v 9-13. What is the irony in their demand for a sign? What do you believe kept them from seeing the signs Jesus had already been doing? How can we keep from limiting our vision of what God can do or whom he will use?
In v 14-20 the disciples get worried because they forgot snacks for the boat trip. Jesus warns them about the “yeast” of the Pharisees and Herod. Pharisees represented an institutional, performance based system of religion. Herod represented a grasp for political power in God’s name. Yeast is often a representation of corruption in the biblical narrative. What do you believe the corruption of the Pharisees and Herod might have been? Where would we see that in our own world?
Jesus calls the disciples blind because of their concern about snacks. How do you think his questions in v 19-20 were meant to instruct the disciples? What is the biggest area of your life where you struggle to trust in God’s provision?
In the last verses of our section we get to an actual blind guy. If he becomes a living illustration of God’s intent to remove our blind-spots – what comfort can we take from his gradual healing?
I’m really looking forward to digging into this together! Hope to see you Sunday!