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Believing is Seeing (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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June 3, 2021 6:00 am

Believing is Seeing (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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June 3, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 8:14-26)


Paul writes to the Colossians and you who were once alienated, the enemies and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled the body of his flesh through death to present you holy and blameless and above reproach in his sight. When I stand before Jesus Christ, I will be blameless. I will be made holy, all by him. I'm just the vessel that's going to receive it.

And so are you. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Believing is Seeing is the title of Pastor Rick's message and he'll be teaching in Mark chapter 8. I'm going to pause there and I sure hope I don't sound like I think this is the only right church in the world.

I certainly don't think that. I do not want the Lord to say, by the way, I've got 7,000 of not bowed the knee to bow. You know what, Elijah, just a side note, commercial here for Elijah.

When Elijah was, I'm the only righteous one. You know what his problem was that day? He was hungry. He really was. He ran all the way from, I'm the only one, just kill me.

Well, you're not even thinking straight. Because if you wanted to die, you could have just stayed there where Jezebel was. He would have accommodated you.

He had henchmen everywhere looking for you. So God feeds him. That's how we know he was hungry. The angel comes, he feeds Elijah. And then Elijah's still after he's full.

I'm the only one. And then God says, okay, this is what I need you to do. And then before he sends him out the doors, oh, by the way, you're not the only one. And who reported this to us? Elijah reports it. No comeback from him after that. Profound lessons, they're wonderful.

As long as I don't have to suffer any pain. So verse 22, and he came to Bethsaida. Look at that, we've done it with the first paragraph in 26 minutes. Yeah, man, I'm on my game this morning. Don't mess it up with pride, Ricky.

All right. Then he came to Bethsaida and they brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. This is the hometown of Peter and Andrew and Philip and maybe others. And it's just to the east side of the Jordan by the headwaters where it flows into the Galilean Sea. And it is beautiful up in that northern part of Israel. If you go to Israel, you sort of endure everything else, you know, at the south by the Dead Sea where David's Cave was in those areas. It's desert. Jerusalem's all built up and the suburbs, two of the suburbs.

But you go to the north and it's green and it's lush and it's just a whole other feeling. And this is the area that these men were from. Christ is heading with them up to Caesarea Philippi, which was a big Gentile town.

And we're going to get that in this chapter in one of the future sessions. But anyway, you understand that he's ministered to them. They sailed away from the Pharisees. He's rebuked them. They've moved on and he's heading up to get away from everyone. And that's where this blind man is going to be brought to him. He is in Bethsaida where he performed some great miracles. And that's not all.

They saw the miracles and they did not believe in Bethsaida. And that's not the only place. I'll read this verse in a moment. But he's again saying, seeing is believing.

No, it's not. Believing is believing. And once you believe, you begin to see. This Bethsaida and Corozan, for example, proved it. Matthew 11, chapter 21. Woe to you, Corozan. Woe to you, Bethsaida. For if the mighty works which were done in you were done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

It's pretty powerful. You've seen some things and you have just, they didn't badmouth the Lord. They didn't mock him. They did not try to crucify him.

They did not send him away. They were just indifferent. It didn't register with them. And so he's saying, this kind of behavior meets with a curse. A curse of judgment.

They saw and did not believe. But the apostles, they were all part of this. They heard this teaching. And here they come to Bethsaida. And Christ is always teaching.

He's always looking to develop them. But he's withdrawing his blessings from Bethsaida. This is critical to the story because he's going to take this person out of the city or the village before he heals him. Because they're under, he's pronounced a judgment on that behavior.

He's not going to offer them anymore. No casting pearl before swine at this point. And so verse 23. So he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when he had spit on his eyes, he put his hands on him.

He asked him if he saw anything. Now, I'm not going to get into the spitting part yet, but I will. And I will try to restrain myself. Because it's just like, this is crazy.

Who does this? Well, Jesus did it. But that doesn't mean we're going to do it. And if any of you try to spit in my eye. Anyway, we know the verse. Jesus wept. We're moved by that verse when we come to it in John's gospel, the raising of Lazarus.

But I would put this verse right along with it. So Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of town. What a beautiful, how come an artist is not catching this? How come we don't see a portrait of this?

It's such a beautiful scene. It is that hand, the hand that led this blind man out of town, that created and shaped the universe. This is the healing hand of Christ, the hand that made gestures when he was teaching. When he would say things like, behold a sower went to sow. When he prayed, when he broke the bread, he took him with his hands. I'm not reading too much into this. I am saying to you that this is on purpose by the Holy Spirit language that we can appreciate and adore.

Two separate things to appreciate something and then to adore it, to love it. And this same hand took hold of me and those of you who believe and touched your heart and led you out of this world and put you in that glorious light of Jesus Christ because believing, you now see. By faith, you see. And as Paul said when he was converted, I saw the light. I heard the voice.

And he began to share that wherever he went. And that same hand holds us with him forever as long as we want to be held. Pastor, can I lose my salvation? Let me tell you. You are saved as long as you want to be saved.

I mean, we can just leave it at that. Jesus said, you abide with me and if you don't abide with me, there's going to be big trouble for you. John's Gospel, chapter 10.

No Christian that loves the Lord Jesus Christ should ever worry about their salvation. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of my hand. Who could have taken on that day that blind man's hand, who could have separated those hands from the hands of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness of sort? No. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

No one. 1 Peter, chapter 1, verse 5. Speaking of the saints who are kept by the power of God through faith or salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Kept by the power of God through faith. Now, you come to Christianity, I'll speak for myself, maybe you share this. You have these great expectations when you get exposed to God's Word. The promises, the power of God. How many times, I know I've said this from the pulpit before, you know, coming to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. And I've come to him at times and I could not find rest.

All I find is silence and sort of a keep going and I'm to keep going. So you have a choice in times like that. You become disillusioned or you keep faith and you grow stronger because you're kept by the power of God. And you are his slave and happy to be so.

And however he works it out is going to be alright with you. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and the believer. Satan himself did not believe that, that's why he persecutes. He tried to shake us away from Christ. Colossians, chapter 1. This is a beautiful verse in the context of what we're saying. Remember, he's got the blind man by the hand. He's leading him out of that city that has a curse on it.

He's going to heal this man. We've been led out of the city by the hand of Christ also. Paul writes to the Colossians, and you who were once alienated, the enemies and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled the body of his flesh through death to present you holy and blameless and above reproach in his sight. When I stand before Jesus Christ, I will be blameless. I will be made holy all by him. I'm just the vessel that's going to receive it and so are you. So he takes the blind man by the hand.

He separates him from the city and it says, And when he had spit on his eyes and put his hands on him. I'll stop there for a minute. Now my initial reaction, and I think you would share this, is I'm not comfortable with this. I don't like it. My initial reaction is, what is going on here?

Because you're picturing this happening. I'm uncomfortable with it because spitting is associated with an insult in someone's face. It's an ultimate insult. It's a gesture of contempt as a rule.

Now certainly not the case here. Look at Job chapter 17. But he has made me a byword of the people, and I have become one in whose face men spit.

This is big news. Here you have a man in Job. He's saying, I was once on top of everything. People came to me. I ministered to those who were hurting. And look what it's gotten me. Look at what my principle of faith has gotten from me. I hurt my whole body. My wife's turned against me. My children are gone.

Men spit in my face. But at the end of it all, when Satan's waiting for Job to then say, I renounce God, it never happens. He's God's man.

He can't go anywhere. Again, Job 30 verse 10, They abhor me. They keep far from me.

They do not hesitate to spit in my face. Job is enduring this in his faith. He's not become bitter to the point.

He's bitter, but he's not bitter to the point of apostasy. Isaiah prophesied they're going to spit in the face of Messiah, the Son of God, the creator of the universe. They're going to spit in his face. That's what's going to happen, and that is what they did. Matthew's gospel, chapter 27, then they spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. He could have killed them all.

You could just say, you know what, this is not going to happen. But he does not. He endures it.

And I have a hard time enduring no snacks in the kitchen at midnight. He's used saliva before, but this is a little bit more intense. Well, let's cover the two of them.

Well, we'll take two of them. John chapter 9, when he said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay with saliva, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Mark chapter 7, and he took him aside, and we covered this a few weeks ago, from the multitude and put his fingers in his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. But this is a little different. If you're standing there looking at this, you just saw Christ spit on the man's eyes.

I think, and I believe very strongly, here it is. I will trust him. The blind man had to trust him.

He had to accept his man. No one protested. No one objected. None of the disciples stepped forward and said, Well, whoa, you can't be doing this.

The blind man says, What? No, he doesn't do that. He remains silent.

The disciples remain silent. Everybody in the picture is submitted to whatever it is that Jesus Christ is doing, whatever method he is employing, no matter his methods, Lord, do it to me if that's what you want to do. John chapter 6, verse 68, this is where Jesus preached a sermon that they didn't care for. Oh, that's never happened since. But Simon, of course, in case you missed that, maybe you just, like the disciples, don't understand, but I'm kidding. It happens all the time. But Simon Peter answered, When everybody else is leaving the Lord.

This slowed us down. Essentially, they're all leaving the church after this. Not all of them, but many of them. Christ does not ask them to come back. That's a pattern that I think all pastors should follow. Someone says, I'm leaving the church. Okay, God bless you.

I hope it works out well, but I'm not going to ask you to stay or come back. You are a big boy or a big girl, and you are led by the Spirit, so be it. And this is where that pattern comes from. And not only here, but this is the main one. But Simon, when Jesus said, Are you guys going to leave, too? But Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life. You could do things, Christ, that I don't understand, that I don't get, that I don't like.

I have nowhere else to go, and I'm not interested in going anywhere else. You have the words. You are the Lord.

You reign. And this, before they found out about His dying for them the way it happened. Everything just went nuclear after this, went after the cross and resurrection. These men were standing with Christ before they understood the cross. We understand the cross.

We understand the resurrection. Again, the famous Job, Though He slay me, I will trust Him. The men can spit in my face, I'll trust God.

Man, I can't always do this. And yet, He doesn't defrock me. He tells me, You just keep going. Matthew chapter 3, verse 12, His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His thrashing floor and gather His wheat into the barn. But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Well, He sifted this man out of Bethsaida. He takes him out of the city. He's putting him through this, and there's no objection, and as a result, the man will see. Luke 23, 22, verse 31, the Lord said, Simon, Simon, indeed, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you like wheat. How's he going to do that? By allowing stuff in my life that I don't get, that seemed to be so bizarre, so crazy. You're spitting in my eye.

How can you do this? And you say you love me, and you died for me. You're going to spit in my eye. Well, an unbeliever might ask that, but a believer says, Lord, I've got two eyes.

Do the other one, too. Satan has asked for you. Notice the emphasis from the Greek into the English. Indeed, Satan has asked.

That's emphatic. He says, I'm telling you something, and don't you ever miss this. Satan wants to take you out, Peter.

He's going to get a shot at you. But, and we know the story, Jesus says, but I've prayed for you. You know somebody who Satan is sifting? Then you be praying for them. If Jesus wants to spit in my eyes or whatever else, then may I be very grand about it. I'll even boast about it in a righteous sort of way. It says here in verse 23 at the bottom, he asked him if he saw anything.

Why did he ask that? This is the one that heals people from a distance. Go, your daughter doesn't have a demon anymore. Go, your servant is healed. The fever is gone. And so this is the only time. It's a progressive healing that we read about. It doesn't mean it was the only time. It's the only one we read about.

And what's the point of this? Well, there's precedence, but before I get to the precedence, I believe, not I think, I'm not sure, but I am, it's my conviction that the Lord is saying to us that he keeps his secrets in the healing of souls. He does it his way, and I don't have to understand. He's not going to go outside and sin. He did not sin here. There's no sin that took place. But again, the blind man did not object.

The onlookers did not interfere. And that is a lesson for us all. Isaiah warned about this, Isaiah 55. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts, and he goes on to say, and pass your finding out. If you can understand everything about God, he's not big enough to be God. One of the things that makes him God is he's beyond our total understanding. But we can understand enough, and that's what counts. Seeing is believing enough. That's all I have to do.

Well, that's not all that will happen, but that is what I have to do. Verse 24, and he looked up and said, I see men like trees walking, verse 25. Then he put his hands on his eyes again and made him look up, and he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Well, the fact that he saw men like trees indicates, as it does in verse 5 where it says his sight was restored, that he could see at one point, and for whatever reason he had lost his eyesight, and he had become a blind man. And so now in the process of restoring his sight, we have this dialogue, and only here in Mark's Gospel do we have Jesus healing someone in two stages. Well, when you come to this, you have no choice.

You have to accept that this is how it is. Sometimes he uses tools, as when he used the clay to spit in, and sometimes he does not. Sometimes he heals instantly, and sometimes he heals progressively, sometimes he doesn't heal until you get to heaven. You know, the prophet Elisha died of sickness. That great prophet who did twice as many miracles on record as the great prophet Elisha, who went up in a chariot of fire.

These are big things we're in the presence of. Again, this is not the first time God healed with tools and in phrases. You say, well, name another one. Naaman. He told him you had dipped seven times in the Jordan. He needed to use the Jordan, and he needed to do it seven times.

If he stopped at six, deal was off. Naaman scoffed at that. But Naaman was a man that was so respected and so loved. He was so loved that even a captive Jewish girl, as we would say, turned him on to Elisha. He was a prophet in my land. If we could get Naaman to him, he'd heal. And that's what happened.

You talk about those of you who are in positions of leadership, or maybe you have a business and you have people that work under you. Naaman was a man that the people under him, they loved him. And so they went to Naaman and said, Naaman, he just asked you to dip in the Jordan. I mean, why not? And he, being the general, instead of saying, who are you to tell me?

He says, okay, I'll give it a shot. And they're just telling us about a relationship between this man, Naaman, and the people that were under him. And in those days, a general wielded power. I mean, big power.

If he wanted you dead, you'd be dead, and nobody would press a charge. How about Hezekiah, that godly king? He had a sickness until death, and Isaiah the prophet says, God says, you're going to die. And he leaves. The prophet leaves. He gets to the courtyard, and God says, go back.

Because hell, the guy is upstairs, boo-hooing. He sends the prophet back and catches him in the courtyard. He says, okay, go back and tell him he's going to get 15 years.

And I'll give you a sign. Okay, so you're going to live, and then he tells the attendants, put a lump of figs on it, on the boil. And Hezekiah lived.

Progressive and using a tool. In this case, a lump of figs. Who would have thought? Figs. I would have picked Oreos. But anyway, still, regardless of what method he picked, he never failed.

And maybe that's part of it, too. Looks like I'm messing up here. Looks like I'm failing.

Looks like it's not working, does it? And the blind man is blind no more. Verse 26. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, either go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town. Again, the Lord wanted his privacy, because he's heading north, he's getting out of the area.

He's giving the disciples the break that they needed that was interrupted on a couple of occasions, at the least. But here it is, this man is separated, which is our word, sanctified. To be separated. There are two types, there are two stages of separation for the believer of sanctification.

There's the instant, which comes with justification. The minute you claim the Lord is your Savior, and you renounce all others, and He is the one, you admit you're a sinner, He died and rose again for you, and is on the throne. You're separated from those who are lost.

But then there's the sanctification process of building up the inner man, becoming spiritually strong, and not just being a doorstop. And you say, I don't like to hear that kind of language, that's tough. You know, look, when I was in the military, those drill instructors, which I couldn't stand at times, they had this thing they would do. Where, you know, they build you up with honor, this is the core and all that stuff, and then you'd be marching along and they'd say, stop, stop! And they'd start insulting you and talking bad about your mother, who they never met, and then they'd say, no, you're too whatever to, I can't use the language, and no, I did not almost.

So they would say, forward, stumble, trip and fall, what an insult! You're trying your best and these guys are chopping you down every chance they get. But it worked! It worked the strangest thing, you worked harder! Fine, I'll show these guys. And the next thing you know, they're not saying that to you anymore. Christ, he comes along and says, I'll do it my way.

I just need you to submit whatever I choose, just submit to it. And so the sanctification processes of stripping us down, building us up, those who saw, believed. This man believed and saw, believing and seeing that that is part of the preaching, part of the message. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, just like here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-09 23:02:45 / 2023-11-09 23:12:56 / 10

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