Why could they not see?

MARK 8 : 18 - 25 NKJV

18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
And they said, “Seven.”
21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 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 and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

Jesus had already done many miracles and wonders in the presence of His disciples, but why did they not understand who he was? It is interesting that Jesus used a practical picture to illustrate that His disciples could only see in part but there would come a time when they would see clearly. I believe that one of the reasons for the healing of the blind man mentioned above, in stages, was to bring that illustration to His disciples. In other words as disciples we may initially believe that we understand God and know the way, but we do not. If we remain arrogant then we will not find the way. 


Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.

There is the answer. If one is pure in their heart then they shall see God clearly. I will now go back to the verses that precede Mark 8 : 18 - 25 above.

MARK 8 : 13 - 18 NKJV

13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples[a] had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.”
17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still[b] hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

From verse 15 we can see Jesus warning His disciples not to be like the Pharisees or Herod. (This is to be a people of reasoning or logic rather than faith and relationship. The very thing that Jesus knew that His disciples already were.) In verse 17 Jesus asks His disciples if their hearts are still hardened. If a person thinks that they know what they are doing, like the Pharisees, then that person will work things out for themselves or use their own mind to reason out the answer for themselves rather than simply ask God for the answer. (That is a person with a heart that is still hard. A person who does not ask for the answer but one who is proud and says in their heart I can work this out.) The Pharisees were continually studying the Holy Scriptures in this manner and that is why they did not know God or receive Jesus when He came. In fact they hated Jesus because He exposed them and they plotted against Him and eventually had Him crucified.

So if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ how much do you reason things out for yourself rather than ask God? Do you prefer to evaluate the Holy Scriptures for yourself or is The Holy Spirit your teacher? How much do you really see God and therefore how much do you really know Him?(By the way it is very difficult to follow someone that you can not see or hear or that you do not know) Believing in Jesus was a progressive journey for the Apostles and it is a progressive journey for every other true disciple. Having said all of that, I believe that it is a good thing to ask God to show you every place in which your heart is hard and then ask Him to purify your heart, that you may see and know Him clearly. The seeing and hearing will take time and getting out of old habits of working things out for yourself will take time, so do not be condemned if you fail as you attempt to get it right with God. God has much patience to help you.


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