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20/20 Hindsight

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Clearing Things Up

New contacts

I first got glasses when I was 25 and in seminary.
Now I wear multi-focal contacts.
Typical, every few years I need a stronger RX.
I hate this part:
Which is clearer? 1 or 2?
I don’t know. I’m just guessing.
This time the near sighted strength didn’t change,
Yet, I can’t read as well with these.
But, I can see my golf ball on the green from about 200 yds.
So, for the most part, my eyesight is clearer.
W/ other things in life when we understand how they work we know better what to expect

Why gas engines won’t start

I am not a mechanic at all. I love cars, just not into engines.
All I know is you put the key in, turn it, it starts.
Now, push the button, it starts.
What if it doesn’t start? Call somebody.
Friend of mine taught me the simplicity of it.
There has to be 3 things for your engine to run.
Gas - I talked about that last week when you quad runs out of gas. The engine will stop. Also, fuel filters, fuel pumps
Air - if your air filter is jammed with dust from dirt roads or dust storms it chokes the engine out.
Spark - Obviously, plugs.
Now, though, to push the button you have to have your fob w/ you. Does no good to push the button w/out the fob close by.
And, keys have microchips in them. If you get a new key with a microchip it will de-activate your old keys.
Theft deterrent.
Understand these basic things will help eliminate a lot of frustration, head off trouble, and get things fixed faster.
Then there are those tough situations in life. We’ve all encountered them. This was my toughest.

A year without a job

I don’t believe I was doing anything wrong.
I believed I had a clear calling from God and what He wanted me to do.
So why did it take so long? Why do I have to go thru this?
I finished 2nd 6 times.
I had family members suggesting I consider a career change.
We couldn’t afford to go out and do things to keep our minds busy and off the struggle.
I learned during that time how trustworthy Jesus is.
I learned what is most important to Him.
It’s not me serving, preaching, making money, etc.
It’s my relationship with Him.
That’s what I had time for.
Secondarily, all of you benefit from what I came to understand that year.
I wish all this would have happened to me back when I was 20 and I knew everything.
B/C in the middle of such a struggle I felt like I didn’t know anything.
Looking back now, I understand so much more.
I’m still unpacking things from that time. But, I’m so much more relaxed now than I was before.
I became a Christian at 17, thought I’d figured it all out by 20. Then, life happened.
I understood the theory that Jesus would send me into trials. But, the reality was much harder to understand.
Truth is, the only way I’ll grow is thru trial. And Jesus loves me too much to let me stay and wallow in my ignorant immaturity.
That’s how we all grow.
While I wish that Jesus would just say the word and give me understanding, the reality is Jesus says the word and sends me into storms where I gain understanding.
In that, the only way to progress in understanding is by walking close to Jesus in and thru the storms.
Not trying to figure it out on my own and make it happen in my own strength.
How do we know? Miracle #24
Mark 8:22–26 NIV
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”



Mark 8:22-2
He told the disciples to do the impossible:
Feed 17,000 people w/ one lunch.
He sent them into a storm:
The boat was sinking, they thought they were dead
It was the 2nd storm He sent them into but their fear was the same: Don’t you care if we drown?!
Crazy Peter jumped out of the boat and onto the water
He told them to do the impossible again:
Feed 14,000 w/ 7 loaves and a few fish.
He’s preparing them for life after He’s gone.
Success in each of these situations was achieved when they surrendered their own attempts to make it happen and asked Him for help.
The ppl were fed and Peter walked on the water.
In the midst of all this the Pharisees came to Him and asked for a sign to prove He is the Messiah.
Seriously, 2 years in, 23 recorded miracles plus all those not written about.
Just a diversion, a smoke screen to hide their motives.


He asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?”
The Christ, The Messiah.
Then, He tells them He must suffer and die.
Peter says he won’t let that happen.
To which Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan.”
Peter’s understand of Who Jesus is, is correct, just incomplete. He is the Messiah. But to fulfill His mission as Messiah He has to die.
Then, Jesus says,
Mark 8:34–35 NIV
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Not: If you want to be a pastor, missionary, bible study leader, elder, etc.
But, if you want to be my disciple. That’s all of us.
Do we understand what it means to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, lose our life?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus clarified the specifics of what this means.
B/C, it’s going mean something a little different for each of us.
Can we really understand what Jesus is calling us to until we’re in situations where we have to!?
Briefly back to the last verse before the passage we’re studying to day, in the context of the disciples trying to do what is impossible for them:
Mark 8:20–21 NIV
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Mark 8:
So, the next miracle helps clarify some things for them.
This is the only miracle that only Mark wrote about. And, it’s the only miracle that occurs in 2 stages.

The Blind Man at Bethsaida

Mark 8:22–26 NIV
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

The presentation of the man

Bethsaida, they’re back in a Jewish region. So, the blind man is Jewish.
His friends led Him to Jesus and they begged Jesus to help him.
Once again, they try to tell Jesus how to do His business.
You’d think we’d all learn by now not to try to tell Jesus how to solve our problems.
We laugh about this all the time b/c we all do it all the time.
Here, they did it again.
Touch him, that’s how you healed the other guys.
Jesus has His own plan and has His own ways of dealing w/ out problems.
His solutions may or may not resemble anything He has ever done before for anyone.
And, in this case, He dealt w/ this man in a unique way.

The privacy of the interaction

Jesus led him away from the crowd for a private moment with him.
Why? 4 reasons:
Relational - This allowed Him to interact with the man and give him the chance to get to know Jesus personally. Away from distractions and others who might try to dominate the situation.
Private message for the disciples. They would have gone along and been close enough to hear everything.
Away from the critics - The Pharisees had had enough signs. Jesus had been rejected by them already and His patience with them had grown thin. They don’t need to “see” another sign.
Away from the crowds - The crowds keep growing making #1 here more difficult.
True understanding of Jesus comes thru a personal relationship with Him. He makes Himself available and known to everyone who wants to know Him.
You won’t gain understanding like this in a crowd, w/ group acceptance, peer pressure, thru your spouse or children or parents.
Understanding like this requires personal interaction with Jesus.
And, Jesus makes sure we all get the chance at this.

The progress of the miracle

This is the only 2-stage miracle in the Bible.
In every other case when Jesus acts the healing is immediate and complete.
There is a message in His process here for those in attendance.
Imagine you’re the blind man. Your friends take you to a man whom they say has claimed to be The Messiah and has healed others just like you.
He takes you into a room w/ just a few others and after exchanging some personal info, He spits in your eyes.
He’d been spat on before.
Some to insult a blind beggar.
Others who claimed t/b able to heal him. This was a common practice for faith-healers.
This is the first time, however, anything happened.
And, look what happened!
“Do you see anything?”
Jesus knew what he saw, but he wanted him to say it out loud.
“Stick Figures!” He saw something for the first time. He was correct in what he saw, but it was immature, underdeveloped.
Correct but incomplete.
This was intentional on Jesus’ part. Not a weakness in Jesus’ ability or a weakness in the man’s faith.
In fact, there is not mention of the man’s faith and this miracle. It had nothing to do with this miracle.
Once again Jesus put His hands on his eyes.
This time when he opened them everything was clear. 20/20. He understood exactly what he was looking at.
For all of the reasons listed above, Jesus gave Him this command:

The prohibition of Jesus

Jesus prohibited him from going into the village to spread the word about what had happened to him.
Go straight home and lay low for a while.
There will be plenty of time to tell your story later.
Already, Jesus has demonstrated repeatedly the limitless power He possesses. He is capable, no question.
And, there is no mention of this man, or anyone’s faith.
So, what’s the point of this miracle?

The point of the miracle

Remember, He’s preparing the disciples for the time when He is going to be gone and it will be up to them to continue the work He started.
Including, they will need to be able to explain Christianity, from the basics to its complexities.
It would be nice that the moment you came to faith, with new life came an understanding of everything about Jesus and the life of a follower.
But, understanding is a process. It takes time and experience to fully understand the Person of Jesus, the things of God, and what He is doing in your life.
It would be helpful, going into every situation, to have the understanding to successfully accomplish what Jesus intends.
But, that’s not how things work.
We won’t understand before the situation. The only hope we have for understanding comes after the situation.
Hebrews 5:11–14 NIV
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The elementary things come early. Milk.
But understanding the teaching about righteousness, knowing how to respond the right way when life gets hard, comes with maturity.
And maturity comes thru trials.
And, not just by surviving trials, but applying hard truths and doing the right things no matter how hard produce understanding.
And, this can only happen by staying close to Jesus, having private conversations with Him where He can give specific instructions.
Peter was in the boat both times when it began to sink.
Peter took a few steps on the water then he began to sink.
Peter was there when Jesus told them to do the impossible and they failed by proving it to be impossible.
Then, years later, he wrote this:
1 Peter 1:3–7 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
In those circumstances when Jesus sent them into the storms then told them to do what was impossible for them to do, his faith waivered and failed him.
He had faith. It was just an immature faith.
He had knowledge, he lacked understanding.
Later in life he matured, and understood much more.
Here, he is encouraging us to stay the course thru trials and on the back side we will discover that what little faith we may have, as long as it is all placed in Jesus, will prove itself genuine.
He too was there and could not feed the people.
Understanding is a process. It takes time. It takes experience. It takes knowledge of God’s word and the ability to apply it in the most difficult trials in life.
When we first come to faith, our understanding is correct, just under-developed.
He was the youngest disciple, a teenager at the time, he lived the long
Don’t be surprised and don’t panic when you don’t understand what you’re going thru and what you are supposed to do about it.
Walk closely w/ Jesus thru it. Initiate private conversations with Him. Listen intently when He speaks to you.
Everything will clear up after the fact.
Because hindsight is 20/20.


Tough Situations? Tough Questions!

God can handle your tough questions. He can handle your anger. Just present it all with respect.
If He is going to send you into tough situations He’s going to expect tough questions. That’s the point.
Ask the questions.
But don’t do so as a diversion or smoke screen. Sometimes we ask questions and don’t really want the answers. We’re just creating a diversion to avoid the truth.
Pursue the answers and you will find them, in time.
God can handle your questions. Just pursue the answers.


Jesus will not necessarily do the same thing the same way twice.
Once He told Moses to hit the rock. The next time He told him to talk to the rock.
When you face the same situation multiple times Jesus may direct you to deal with it differently each time.
Just b/c it worked one way before doesn’t mean it will work the same way again.
Listen attentively. Follow closely.


If you don’t understand, stay the course and stay patient.
Jesus has the ability to clear things up for you once you’ve been thru what you don’t understand.
Don’t expect too much of yourself too early. That will only frustrate you.
Others, too.
Study God’s word. Pray and listen attentively. Walk closely.
Maintain a close relationship with Jesus and in time you will understand what you don’t right now.
Understanding is a process. It takes time. It takes experience. It takes knowledge of God’s word and the ability to apply it in the most difficult trials in life.
The longer I live the more I realize I know that I don’t know.
I wish Jesus would just say the word and make me understand. But, that’s not the way He works.
The only way to gain understanding in the most difficult circumstances we will face is by staying the course and walking thru them with Jesus.
Stay the course and stay close.
Then, hindsight will be 20/20.
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