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Who Is Jesus

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 12:27 pm

Who Is Jesus

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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November 2, 2020 12:27 pm

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Audio on demand from Vision Christian Media. The Nature of Jesus. Listen as David introduces today's message, Who is Jesus? Well thank you for joining us, and now we're going to open our Bibles to the 8th chapter of Mark and the 22nd verse, and here is a very interesting study on the nature of Jesus. Who is Jesus? What is his power? How is he separate from all others who call themselves healers? Who is Jesus? Our story begins in Mark chapter 8 and verse 22, and here we learn first of all what Jesus does.

If you remember at the end of the last message, we heard the scathing words of our Savior as he screamed out almost to his disciples. He actually asked them nine questions, one right after the other, and two of them were, Having ears, do you not hear? And having eyes, do you not see? These words are interesting because they're sandwiched in between two different miracles. One miracle has to do with having ears and being able to hear. Jesus heals a deaf man. Then come these words, and then there's another miracle where Jesus heals a blind man. Having eyes, do you not see? The healing of a blind man.

Having ears, do you not hear? The healing of a deaf man. And just as the two feedings of the thousands of people had similarities and contrasts, these two miracles, the healing of the deaf man and the healing of the blind man, have some interesting comparisons.

First of all, both men suffer from a handicap they were not born with, but a handicap that they got later on in life. Both men are brought to Jesus by their friends. Both men are led away from the crowd before Jesus heals them, and both men are touched by Jesus in the process of their healing, and both men are told by Jesus, Don't tell anybody what happened to you.

Very similar miracles. And both of these miracles are a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, who said, When the Messiah comes, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Now in this miracle that we're going to study about this blind man, we're going to notice the incredible uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

Some of the things that we're going to talk about you may never have heard before, but that is so interesting to me because they're at the core of the gospel. The people who lived in the days of Mark chapter 8 were looking for the Messiah to come. They didn't know how they would know who he was, but if they had read their Old Testament prophets, they would have known. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah said, One of the signs of the coming of the Messiah, when you want to know who he is, he will be somebody who does great miracles. He will open the ears of the deaf and take the scales off of the blind.

And Jesus has been walking around in their midst doing that very thing. He's been doing miracles, and he's been debating with the Pharisees and teaching the disciples, and he is about to do a miracle that will set him aside from everyone else in the world, the unique, unequaled power of his healing. Verse 22 says that he came to Bethsaida, and they brought a blind man to him. Now blindness was a problem in antiquity like it is not today.

They didn't have sanitary conditions as we do. There was no real medicine. There was some eye salves on some occasions we read about that, but they did not have the capabilities that we have today, and so there were many blind people in Jesus' day. But in the New Testament, listen to me carefully, there is no record of anyone healing the blind except for Jesus Christ. His disciples did many other miracles. He empowered them to do miracles, but no one ever healed the blind but Jesus.

It was like this miracle alone was set aside for the power of the Savior, and he alone was able to do it. In the Bible, there are seven men specifically mentioned who were blind, and Jesus healed them. Beside the man in our text who was healed in Bethsaida, there was Bartimaeus, and then there were two blind men who were healed in Galilee, and another who was demon-possessed and both blind and deaf who Jesus healed, and one more in Jerusalem following the cleansing of the temple. Seven men Jesus healed from blindness in the New Testament. No doubt there were many more, but these are the seven men who specifically were touched by Jesus and their blindness was healed. And the healing of the blind man was one of the miracles that the Jewish prophet said would identify the Messiah.

It says in Isaiah 29 18, in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. Now somewhere along the way the friends of this particular blind man whose story is told in Mark chapter 8 had heard about Jesus. Maybe they had a friend who had been touched by him. Maybe somebody in their family had been to one of the healing ministries of Jesus, and this blind man was so helpless he couldn't get to Jesus by himself, and his friends got together and they thought, well, if we can take him to Jesus, maybe Jesus can heal him of his blindness. In fact, they were certain Jesus could heal him and they were also pretty sure they knew how he would do it. They had witnessed Jesus with the blind and they had seen people just come near Jesus and touch him. Perhaps they had seen the woman who touched the hem of his garment who had a bleeding problem and Jesus healed her immediately. So they came to Jesus certain that Jesus was the answer and they were correct in believing that Jesus could heal their friend, but they were incorrect in thinking he would do it with a simple touch. The first thing you want to mark down in your mental notebook for this message today is this, simply this lesson. Jesus is the only one who ever healed blindness in the New Testament, the only one.

Got it? Now he not only has unequal power in healing, but he chose an unusual place of healing. Notice what it says in verse 22, then he came to Bethsaida and they brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him and he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of town. Now Bethsaida was a very famous place in Jesus' day.

It was the home of Andrew, Peter, and Philip located on the northeast side of the Sea of Galilee. It was the place where Jesus had performed some of his greatest miracles. It is the place where he fed 5,000 men plus all those others.

It might have been as many as 20,000 people. That happened just right outside of Bethsaida. This was a very blessed city, Bethsaida was, for the miracles of Jesus, but it was also a cursed city because the Bible tells us that the Lord had pronounced future judgment on this city because of their stubborn unbelief.

Matthew has the record of it in Matthew 11. Then Jesus began to rebuke the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done because they did not repent. Listen, 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, be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And Jesus did no more mighty miracles in these cities. This city was so cursed by the Lord that he took the blind man out of the city to heal him of his blindness and then told him, don't go back in there and tell him what I've done. Notice verse 26, and he sent him away to his house saying, neither go into the town nor tell anyone in the town.

Jesus would perform no more miracles in Bethsaida and he refused for a witness to be given to the city. But notice, though his blessing was withdrawn from the city, he would still show his love and mercy to an individual in that city. And he took him outside of the city to heal him and said don't even go back in and tell them I've done all these mighty miracles for this city and they haven't repented, there's going to be no more witness in this city. So there was unequal power, Jesus the only one to heal, very unusual city where he healed this man. But here's the most unique thing of all, a unique procedure of his healing. Listen to me carefully, of all the miracles that Jesus ever did recorded in the Scripture, this is the only miracle that he did not do instantaneously but gradually.

Are you hearing me? Every time Jesus touched anybody up to this point, he would touch them immediate, even if he wasn't with them. He would heal them at a distance and they would immediately be healed.

But in this situation, there is a strange and unique procedure that is followed. Notice what happens, Mark 8.23, and he took the blind man by the hand, 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.

In other words, I can see but my vision is blurred. The method by which this man was healed is repulsive in our culture today. We would never think of doing anything quite like was done then. The Bible says Jesus spit on this man's eyes and put his hands on his eyeballs. Jesus had to somehow connect with this man who couldn't see him. He wanted to take this man into the world of thought and the only way he could do it was with this touch. So he touched him, the Scripture says, and he spit upon his eyes and hope and faith were surging in this man's heart. Now, after the first touch, the Bible says the blind man could see, but his sight was blurry.

He sees men like trees walking. Did we not read that Jesus doeth all things well? This doesn't sound like this is so great. I mean, it's great that he fixed him a little bit, but it almost sounds like he couldn't get it done in one shot and it took two attempts to pull it off. How many of you know that's not possible with the Lord? I mean, the Creator of the universe doesn't need two attempts to fix the blind eyes of one man. Let's just face that.

So that's not what's going on here. Jesus didn't take two attempts to heal this man because two attempts were needed to do it. He did it for a very specific reason. Now, I wish I could tell you I knew exactly what that reason is, but he hasn't explained that to us in the story, but I have some thoughts about it. I thought I would just share with you two or three of them why Jesus would do such a thing. I think he may have done it, first of all, as a reinforcement for the blind man. Remember, this blind man didn't come to Jesus on his own faith. He came to Jesus because some friends brought him. He didn't have any faith himself. He came because his friends believed in Jesus. His friends thought Jesus could help him. Perhaps Jesus did this gradually or slowly so that he could help build up the faith in this man so his faith could catch up with the miracle that was about to happen. Perhaps that's the reason. Suppose he may have done this as a reinforcement for the blind man.

I really believe I'm onto something here. I think he did it as a rebuke to his disciples. Listen, Jesus had just fed 36,000 people from two small lunches, and the disciples have not been able to make the connection to who Jesus is, so he chides them with these words.

He says, do you have eyes and you do not see? Listen, the process of opening the blind eyes of the disciples was being illustrated by the process of opening the eyes of the blind man. Perhaps through the partial sight of the blind man, the disciples will see themselves.

One man has written that this man's healing exemplifies the situation of the disciples who move through the same stages from nonunderstanding to misunderstanding to complete understanding. They were seeing Jesus, the disciples were, but he was a shadowy figure in their mind. He was blurry. They didn't know for sure who he was. Was he a good man, a good teacher? Was he God?

Who was he? They didn't know. Their vision was as blurred as the vision of this blind man. So Jesus uses this miracle to expose the failure of the disciples to see. Until this moment, they have seen Jesus as shapeless and out of focus, and that's about to change. Finally, I think Jesus may have done this as a reminder to us.

Listen to me. God is not limited to instantaneous miracles. How many of you know that God can do miracles any way he wants to do them? He can do miracles that we might describe as gradual, and God doesn't live in time. God lives in eternity. Time is outside of God's experience.

A gradual miracle to God is no different than an instantaneous one. At present day, followers of Christ, do we not try to put God in a box? Do we not try to say, well, God did it this way for him. That's the way he must have to do it for everybody.

Isn't that what we do? It's almost like God is saying to us through the Word of God, and Jesus is teaching us through this miracle, that he can do what he does any way he chooses to do it, and he is a God of great variety. One day he stood outside of Lazarus' tomb, and he said, come forth, and he used Lazarus' name.

If he hadn't, a whole bunch of them would have come forth. He said, Lazarus, come forth, and Lazarus came out of the tomb alive. He put his fingers in the ear of a mute and touched his tongue, and he was healed. He told blind Bartimaeus just to go his way, and he was healed in the process. He healed a centurion's son at a distance. He never even saw him.

He just said, go home. Your son's healed. A woman was cleansed by just touching the hem of his garment. He took a young lady by the hand and raised her up out of sickness and death, and he sent a boy who was born blind to wash in the pool of Siloam, and he received his sight. Don't ever try to figure out God.

You are not up to it, and neither am I. God does his work in strange and mysterious ways, but his work he does. So, that brings us to the second touch. In verse 25, we read, and then he put his hands on his eyes again and made him look up, and he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Now, the Greek language uses a rare word to describe what he saw. It says, now after this touch he looked up, and he could see everything clearly from afar.

How many of you here can see everything clearly from afar? Twenty-twenty vision this man had. Immediately, he was made whole. Now, that's what Jesus does. He is the unique Son of God, the only one who can heal the blind. He's not conditioned by any one place.

He can do it any way he likes. Jesus is the miracle-working Son of God. Do the disciples know this?

Not yet. And that brings us to who Jesus is in Mark 8, 27 to 30. The Bible tells us that Jesus finishes this blind man's miracle, and then his disciples leave Bethsaida, and they go 20-some miles to the north to a city called Caesarea Philippi. I don't have time to tell you all the background about Caesarea Philippi except that it was a city that was the home for the worship of Baal.

It was a wicked pagan city. It's almost like Jesus is taking his disciples into the bowels of hell to solicit from them a confession of their faith. On the way to Caesarea Philippi, he decides to bore in on his disciples and find out where they are. To draw them out, and to draw them out, he asks them two questions. The first question is about the public opinion concerning Jesus' ministry. He says, And now Jesus and his disciples went out to the town of Caesarea Philippi, and on the road he asked his disciples, saying to them, Who do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others, one of the prophets.

Jesus asks two questions to the disciples, and he asks them in a particular order. It is obviously a lot easier to discuss what others think than it is to admit what you think. So he asks them, first of all, What are other people saying about me? Who do others think I am?

And they came back with a pretty stock answer for that particular time. This was circulating around the time of Jesus, that Jesus was either John the Baptist brought back to life, or Elijah from the Old Testament reincarnated, or he was one of the prophets. And so they said, Well, the people out there are saying, Lord, that you're maybe John the Baptist come back, or Elijah or one of the prophets.

Matthew even adds the prophet Jeremiah to this list. The rumors about Jesus had centered in these three people because the man on the street did not know who Jesus was. They were aware of his mighty works. They were convinced that somebody who did these things must have been somebody who came back from the dead, but they didn't know who Jesus was. Like so many today, the disciples were willing to admit that Jesus was an extraordinary man, but not that he was a divine man. That's where the people were. They believed he did great works. They had seen them.

They couldn't deny it. Michael Card hits the nail on the head when he said, No one friend or enemy can deny that Jesus' teachings are sound, his miracles are good, his power is great, but the blur of half sight is to see Jesus as extraordinarily human, but not distinctively divine. Identifying him with the preaching of John the Baptist or the social reform of Elijah or the teaching of one of the prophets, Jesus is more than a common man, but he's still less than God.

Do you know that's where a lot of folks are in our culture today? Just as the people said then, he's Elijah, John the Baptist, one of the prophets, but not anything more than that. Of course, throughout history, there have been many who have understood Jesus that way. It's just not enough.

It's not enough to have a man who is respected by everyone, who maybe is a cut above others, maybe even on the same level with Kennedy and Lincoln and John the Baptist and Elijah and the prophets. All of that may be commendable, but it is totally inadequate and not the right answer. So Jesus asks the second question, and I love the way this is in the text. If you could read this in the Greek language, Jesus is done listening to this question, and he goes, and you, you, what do you think?

Who am I? And we aren't surprised that Peter spoke for the disciples. Peter usually opening his mouth and putting his big foot right in it and most of the time saying things wrong, but this time he was right, wasn't he? Peter said, Jesus, you are the Christ. Christos, you are the Christ. Did the disciples get it?

Not completely, and they aren't finished learning, but Peter seems to be on the threshold of capturing this truth that if Jesus is anything at all, he must be the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And I'm here to tell you today, men and women, that we really have no other choice. There is no one else to whom we may go.

There is no one else to whom you may go. If you want the blindness of your heart and your mind to be healed, you must come to Jesus. He is the only way you will ever find healing for your soul. Isn't it interesting how he has protected that miracle over the ages?

Yes, we can go to eye doctors. We can have surgery on our eyes, but Jesus immediately turned blindness into sight. The only one ever to do that with the word of mouth, and he is still the only one who can change your spiritual blindness into spiritual sight. Tomorrow we are going to talk about what it means to be a disciple. We hear a lot today about discipleship.

Books are written about it, study courses, programs. You can go to schools to learn to be a disciple, but what does it mean to be a disciple? From Mark chapter 8 verse 31 through the first verse of chapter 9, tomorrow we'll talk about, so you want to be a disciple.

Have a good day. The message you just heard originated from Shadow Mountain Community Church where Dr. David Jeremiah serves as Senior Pastor. Let us know how Turning Point keeps you spiritually strong. Write to us at Turning Point, Post Office Box 3838, San Diego, CA 92163. Or visit our website at davidjeremiah.org. Ask for your copy of O. S. Hawkins' new book, The Bible Code, finding Jesus in every book in the Bible.

It's yours for a gift of any amount. You can also purchase the Jeremiah Study Bible in the English Standard Version, the New International Version, and the New King James Version, filled with hopeful notes and articles by Dr. Jeremiah. Visit davidjeremiah.org forward slash radio for details. I'm Gary Hooke Fleet. Join us tomorrow as we continue the series in search of the Savior. That's here on Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. Thanks for taking time to listen to this audio on demand from Vision Christian Media. To find out more about us, go to vision.org.au
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-30 20:53:25 / 2024-01-30 21:02:17 / 9

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