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March 4th: Jesus:  Healing-Acknowledgement-Prediction

For today’s devotional we have a brand-new contributor.  Thank You Charlene Jett for today’s devotional. Let me add a little eeriness to the story to let Peter off the hook a little bit.  Caesarea Philippi isn’t where good Jewish boys and girls would have ever traveled. It was a community that had a long history of worshiping Pan. Weird rituals happened here. The pagans that worshiped here also believed that there was a cave there that was the Gate of Hell leading to the underworld. Below is a picture of the "Gates of Hell" or "Grotto of Pan" originally it would have had a temple leading into it.



Scripture: Mark 8:22-9:1

 

Jesus:  Healing-Acknowledgement-Prediction

These passages deal with healing and suffering, a lack of knowledge, and human vs divine nature.

Jesus was traveling with his disciples to Bethsaida, when with his own spit, he twice touched the blind man and healed his eyes.  To me this story has two types of meaning: 

 

1)  Jesus physically corrected the blind man’s sight by miraculous divine means.

2)  Jesus spiritually opened the blind man's heart or soul, so that he would "see" or really understand what Jesus meant in his teachings. 

 

This also refers to Isaiah 35:5, where we are told God will save believers. This means that we will "see" or really understand, with eyes opened, and the deaf will now be able to "hear" God’s words and understand the real meaning.  In both Mark and Isaiah, spiritually, "seeing" and "hearing" is the equivalent of understanding the meaning of God’s words of bringing salvation.

 

At Caesarea Philippi, Christ was in full recognition of his Messianic and divine nature, not any political or national authority.  Peter did not yet understand the full meaning, context, and implications of calling Jesus "the Christ". Peter and all disciples were still learning, but also believed. 

 

In describing his own suffering, Jesus tried to tell the disciples of his impending death.  Peter at first could not accept all the suffering to be expected and therefore could be manipulated by Satan.  When Jesus moved Satan out of the way, Peter and the others then understood more about Jesus saving souls and that there is both a physical and spiritual death.  Jesus forewarned that by believing in Him was the only way to save our souls and prevent spiritual death. This took Peter and the other disciples awhile to fully "see" or understand how Jesus was an example and how we should also be good examples in our effort to share the gospel.

 

Questions:

1)  How have you been able to see something differently than you have before?

2)  In what ways has Lent brought you closer to the sacrifice that Jesus had to make and are you willing to make the sacrifice to follow Christ?

3)  How do you share Jesus' gospel with others?

 

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, when we suffer, please bring us comfort, in the knowledge that you are always with us and have suffered yourself and will save our souls when we physically die.  Amen.

 

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