December 21, 2021 — Going Beyond the Casual Glance

“There’s a story in Mark’s gospel about Jesus and a blind man,” Stan commented one morning, “that strikes me as a pretty clear reflection of my faith walk, how it began and how it continues.”

“In what way?” I responded.

“Jesus was in Bethsaida, which was a village somewhere near the Sea of Galilee,” Stan said. “Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and asked Him to heal the man.”

“Did Jesus do that?” I asked.

“He did,” Stan replied, “and how He did that, and what He said to the man, is not unlike what I was told and continue to be told for my faith walk.”

“Okay,” I said, “what happened?”

“I don’t know why Jesus did it,” Stan said, “but the first thing he did was to take the blind man by the hand and lead him out of the village.  Then it says that Jesus spit on the man’s eyes.”

“Maybe that’s why Jesus led him out of the village.  Maybe He didn’t want the village people to see that.”

“Could be,” Stan said.  “After the spitting, Jesus laid His hands on the man and asked him if he could see anything.”

“Could he?”

“A little,” Stan replied.  “Then Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes.  What happened next is the real important part for me and for my faith walk.  Mark records that the man looked ‘intently’ and began to see everything clearly.”

“So?” I asked. “What’s important about that?”

“That’s what I had to do to see God in Christ,” Stan said. “I had to look intently.  It couldn’t be just a casual glance.  And it’s the same thing for my faith walk and my ongoing personal relationship with God for it to continue to grow deeper.  I have to go beyond the casual glance and look intently at what God has for me to be and to do in being a disciple.”

“So,” I said, “after the man could see everything clearly from a physical standpoint, do you think it had an impact on his spiritual vision of being able to see who Jesus really was?”

“Sure thing,” Stan replied.  “I can just imagine the man breaking out with a chorus of ‘Once I was blind but now I see!”

“I don’t think so, Stan,” I replied.

“You’re probably right,” he said. “That guy wouldn’t have done that. But I sure can!”


Bible verses to consider:

And taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes, and laying His hands upon him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”  And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about.” Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.  Mark 8:23-25.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for healing my spiritual blindness by opening me to see you and to accept by faith all of your provision of life eternally with you and the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus. Thank you for those you sent to present the truth to me.  I confess that for too long I did not look at you with more than a casual glance.  Thank you for opening me to look intently at you and your provision so I would see clearly all you had and have for me.  Please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I see, accept, and embrace everything that is available from you.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Have you looked at God closely enough so you have the assurance of being able to spend eternity with Him when it’s time? If no, why? If you have not looked intently or closely enough to accept God’s free and gracious gift of salvation, what’s holding you back?  If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with looking intently at what God has for you to be and to do as a disciple?  As well as you would like? As well as God would like?  If you sense you need to look more intently, how is that going to happen?

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