"Spiritual Blindness" (part 1) (Mark 8:1-21)

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"Spiritual Blindness" (part 1) (Mark 8:1-21) par Mind Map: "Spiritual Blindness" (part 1) (Mark 8:1-21)

1. Feeding the 4000 (1-9)

1.1. vs 1

1.1.1. In those days IMPORTANT - places this event with the preceding, Jesus in Decapolis, places them in Gentile territory

1.2. 2

1.2.1. have been with me 3 days These people are drawn to Jesus! Desparate. 3 days in a desolate place, far away they've come

1.2.2. no ffod Ø The children of Israel lacked food and water as they journeyed in the wilderness – Ex. 16:3; 17:2. Ø David faced a time when he had no food to eat – 1 Sam. 21:3. Ø Even Jesus knew the depths of poverty, hunger and thirst – Matt. 4:2; 8:20; John 19:28; 2 Cor. 8:9. Ø Jesus also experienced unimaginable pain and suffering – Isa. 50:6; 53:4-6; 52:14; Matt. 26:67; 27:29-30.

1.3. 3

1.3.1. Mark 8:2 (ESV) — 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. In Mark 6, it was because they were sheep without a shepherd, which is intereseting because tehre they were a Jewish crowd ... looking for a shepherd, looking for a leader, looking for Messiah. Remember, they wantedt o forcibly make him king. The piont is they knew they needed a shepherd, bu tthey were waiting for the wrong kind of shepherd Here, the compassion is on a mixed, gentile / Jewish crowd and he has compassion on them because they have no food, nothign to eat. It's compassion on their poverty, lack, their phyiscal needs. In 6 it's compassion on their spiritual state, here their physical state The simple truth is Jesus is compassionate on all of who we are.

1.3.2. compassion on the gentiles The feeling heart of our Lord Jesus Christ appears in these words. He has compassion even on those who are not His people--the faithless, the graceless, the followers of this world. He feels tenderly for them, though they know it not. He died for them, though they care little for what He did on the cross. He would receive them graciously, and pardon them freely, if they would only repent and believe on Him. Let us ever beware of measuring the love of Christ by any human measure. He has a special love, beyond doubt, for His own believing people. But He has also a general love of compassion, even for the unthankful and the evil. His love "passes knowledge." (Ephes. 3:19.) - JC Ryle

1.3.3. 8:2 "I feel compassion for the people" This term "compassion" comes from the Greek term for the lower organs of the body. (Liver, kidneys, bowels). In the OT the Jews assigned the seat of the emotions to the lower viscera. So it’s an assumption that He had compassion by behavior. This is a first-person declaration, “I feel compassion.” Three words in English, one word in Greek, splanchnizomai, it’s a long word, splanchnizomai. Splanchna is the root and the word means “bowels, inner organs, heart, some would say gut,” where you feel things emotionally. Sometimes you get caught in something that’s either producing fear or producing terror or producing anxiety and your stomach begins to churn and your heart begins to beat and you feel those emotions in your...in your midsection. That’s exactly what this word came to mean. The word splanchna means inner organs. But it is used to express feelings of emotion, affection, sympathy, pity, kindness and compassion. Psalm 78. This is certainly to be celebrated by all of us because it is behind God’s interest in saving us from the disastrous results of sin. His compassion is what moves Him. Psalm 78:35, “They remembered that God was their rock and the Most-High God, their Redeemer, but they deceived Him with their mouth, they lied to Him with their tongue, for their heart was not steadfast toward Him, nor where they faithful in His Covenant. But He being compassionate forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them and often He restrained His anger and did not arouse all His wrath, thus He remembered that they were but flesh.” That’s why Psalm 111:4 says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate.” It’s His nature.

1.4. 4

1.4.1. How can one feed these people with bread in this desolate place? Practical! Decapolise is very spread out Why would they ask this? Forgetful racists Jesus in John 6:26 rebuked the crwod for wanting more food.

1.5. 5

1.5.1. "seven" NOTE: There's no objection here They’re not as skeptical. I mean, Andrew doesn’t pop up again and say, “What are these among so many?” like he did at the feeding of the five thousand. I think they just want to wait and see what happens. They know He has the power to do it, He’s done it before. Now they’re going to learn about His compassion toward the Gentiles, toward the people that they’ve been trained to despise.

1.6. 8

1.6.1. Basket fulls n chapter 6 verse 43, there is a word there, they picked up twelve full baskets...twelve full baskets. The word “baskets,” kophinos, you will experience one of those at some point in your life...a coffin. That’s the word, although in those days it meant a little tiny thing. It was a lunch pail. Kophinos was a very small basket, Greek kophinos means a very small basket. It was a little lunch pail, a little lunch basket you took lunch for one person or two people in. Small basket used by the Jews to carry food on a journey, used in all the accounts of the feeding of the five thousand and there are four of them in the New Testament, always uses kophinos, a small little lunch basket. Here that’s not the word. Here the word is spuridas and this means a very large basket, not the small Jewish lunch basket, but a large Gentile...more like a...more like a chest or like a hamper, I guess you would say, maybe that old word. This is the word used to describe the basket in Acts 9:25 that the Apostle Paul was placed in when He was lowered down the wall of Damascus. This is a very large, large container, very different. Seven of these would contain a lot more...a lot more food than twelve small lunch baskets. So whatever was left over was used for the disciples and Apostles and perhaps for...for some other folks who were there that may have been helping serving beyond the Twelve.

1.7. Theme

1.7.1. The feeding of the syro-phoneican woman crossed the barrier and taught that the Gentiles too woudl be the recipient of God's grace throug hJesus, and here Mark demonstrates that!

1.8. Comparison of this feeding to the 5 thousand

1.8.1. See carson's commentary, page 358

1.8.2. similar There are some clear similarities between this miraculous feeding of the people and the first one. · Both miracles involved huge crowds. · Both miracles took place in a location where no food was available. · In both miracles Jesus used a small amount of food to feed a lot of people. · Both miracles involved the use of bread and fish. · In both miracles Jesus involved the disciples. · In both miracles the disciples doubted the Lord’s ability to meet the need. · In both miracles Jesus asked the question, “How many loaves have ye?” · In both miracles, Jesus took what He had, thanked God for it, and broke it. · In both miracles the bread and fish multiplied in the hands of Jesus. · In both miracles the crowds were entirely satisfied. · In both miracles a large amount of food was left over.

1.8.3. diff The number of people fed in this miracle is different; 5,000 versus 4,000. · The amount of bread used in this miracle is different; 5 loaves verses 7 loaves. · The amount of food left over in this miracle is different; 12 small baskets verses 7 large baskets. · The first miracle took place after a day of teaching. This one took place after three days of teaching. · In the first miracle Jesus was motivated by the spiritual needs of the crowd, Mark 6:34. In this miracle Jesus is motivated by the physical needs of the crowd. · The first miracle was performed using food from an outside source, John 6:9. In this miracle, it appears that Jesus used what the disciples already possessed. · The first miracle was designed to teach the disciples that Jesus was “the Bread of Life” for the Jews. This miracle is designed to teach them that Jesus is “the Bread of Life” for the world.

2. Seeking a sign (10-12)

2.1. 10

2.1.1. Dalmanutha Anchorage of te district of Magdala Matthew calls it Magdala. Mark says Dalmanutha. Matthew says Magdala, or sometimes Magadan from...we know that from Mary of Magdala, Mary Magdalene. Is it Dalmanutha? Or is it Magdala, Magadan? The answer is, it’s the same region. It’s the same area. South of Gennesaret. Basically we know where Magdala is and we know where Capernaum is and it’s not too far separated. When the lake was low, some years ago, archaeologists discovered a little harbor buried under the water really, or submerged under the water, between Magdala and Capernaum which some archaeologists think was probably Dalmanutha, a little fishing stop of which there were many along the shore. They also found a cave in the area called Talmanutha that may be in view as well. So the region of Magdala, the region of Dalmanutha would be in the very same area.

2.1.2. So back He goes into Jewish territory. As soon as He arrives, verse 11, the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him. They’re just relentless. They are on the attack. He never has to look for them. He never has to find them. They’re there. He’s just arrived back from the other side, docked their little boat at a place called Dalmanutha, gotten off the boat not far from Capernaum and somewhere immediately on the path wherever it was from the shore to Capernaum, which perhaps was the direction they were headed, they’re ready for Him. And as soon as the word goes that He’s arrived, and He’s been gone a long time, weeks, they’re right there in His face wasting no time with their attack. They hate the light. They hate the message of repentance. They hate the message of faith and grace. They love self-righteous sin. They love the sense of achieving their own redemption through their own morality and their own religious ceremony. They’re in love with that. They hate the truth. And so they come out again. They want to discredit Him publicly. There’s always a crowd around Him.

2.2. 11

2.2.1. A sign In Mark a miracle is never called a sign - so they aren't asking for anothe rmiracle. They want proof the miracle is from God, because reember, they think the miracle is from Satan. This is the key - they come not to bleieve, but to test, to contest, to say in essence "Prove yourself" cause we think you're an agent from the devil. Prove it otherwise. And what they miss is how these miracles work, what they have been for, th for the good of poeple , the healing of peolple, the redemption of lives. A sign might allude to the testing of a prophet

2.3. 12

2.3.1. sighed deeply We saw this in chapter 7, there he sighed over what it would mean ulitmatley to be messiah, Isa 43 Here the sigh is at the tremendous unbelief Much like Mark 3:5 Mark 3:5 (ESV) — 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

2.3.2. truly I say to you Not obvious here, but this statement is in the form of an oath. Jesus is saying "I swear" ... this will not happen! It's strong language

2.3.3. Why does this generation seek a sign? He knows it's to test him. There's no sincerity in it. There is a note of exasperation in the question, Why does this generation seek a sign? which reflects on the perverseness and unbelief of a people who oppose themselves to the revelation of God's grace William L. Lane. The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 2876-2878). Kindle Edition. What Moses experienced from the wilderness generation (Deut. 32:5-20; Ps. 95:10), Jesus experienced in his day. William L. Lane. The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Location 2878). Kindle Edition. (cf. Ps. 95:8-1 1; Dent. 32:5; Exod. 17:2; Num. 14:10-23).122 Ben Witherington III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Kindle Location 3544). Kindle Edition.

2.3.4. No sign will be given Jesus is not against this per se Remeber the paralytic and forgiveness of sins earlier in Mark Why is jesus against it here? #1 - A sign from heaven #2 - The heart of the request In Matt, it does say the sign of Jonah will be given Understand, the vindication of his miracles then is what? It's the resurrection!

2.4. 13

2.4.1. And he left them Visible expression of his indignation and jdugement There is a time to leave btw - and that's when all the person wants to do is argue to put Jesus down Ex. remember when the pharisees questioned jesus and he did not answer.

2.4.2. This is it. From here on, whenever He relates to them He relates to them as a condemning judge. Up to this point there have been invitations extended to the leaders of Israel to believe. No more. Denunciation now. But it’s a milestone then for a second and corollary reason. Since He is through with the leaders of Israel, He is through also with the people who follow the leaders of Israel. And from this point on, our Lord’s instruction and His power displays are not for the leaders of Israel, not for the rejecters anymore but for those who believe. So from here on, everything that takes place is driven directly at the disciples.

3. Disciples and unbelief (13-21)


3.1.1. This is the third sea incident, and none are great for these (ironically) fishermen Scene 1 (4:35-41) - the storm and jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith Scene 2 (6:52) - Jesus walks on water and rebukes them for their hardness of heart Scene 3 - here jesus will hearts were hardened still, and even more, blind and hard of hearing

3.2. 15

3.2.1. leaven In the Old Testament, leaven symbolized corruption and the infectious power of evil. The translation of the word zyme as “yeast” assumes that “yeast” and “leaven” are the same thing and obscures the negative connotation that leaven had for the first-century Jew. Yeast connotes to us that fresh and wholesome ingredient that makes dough rise and gives bread a pleasing, light texture. The ancient world used the more dangerous leaven. It was produced by keeping back a piece of the previous week’s dough, storing it in suitable conditions, and adding juices to promote the process of fermentation. But this homemade rising agent was fraught with health hazards because it could easily become tainted; it would then spread poison when baked with the rest of the dough. It, in turn, would infect the next batch. 13 That is the idea Jesus uses to refer to his enemies. Garland, David E. (2011-03-01). Mark (The NIV Application Commentary Book 2) (p. 310). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. Leaven was in various contexts a synonym for corruption (cf. 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5:9), and was not identical with yeast, which was rare in antiquity.124 Ben Witherington III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Kindle Locations 3545-3546). Kindle Edition. In Matthew leaven seems to be equated with false teaching, while in Luke it is equated with hypocrisy.127 Ben Witherington III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Kindle Locations 3547-3548). Kindle Edition. IN Matt 16:12 - it'sthe teaching of the pharisees and scribes a. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees: This leaven wasn't merely yeast, but a pinch of dough left over from the previous batch, as in the making of sourdough bread. This was how bread was commonly leavened in the ancient world, and a little pinch of dough from the old lump could make a whole new lump of dough rise and "puff up." So, the work of leaven was considered an illustration of the work of sin and pride. The presence of a little can corrupt a large amount.

3.2.2. NASB, NRSV"Watch out!" NKJV"Take heed" TEV"Take care" NJB"Keep your eyes open" This is literally "see" (i.e., horaō). It is a present active imperative, which implies continuing diligence to maintain proper vigilance. NASB, NKJV, NRSV"Beware" TEV"be on your guard against" NJB"look out for"

3.2.3. Pharisees and herod Opposite spectrum Pharisees Herod One commonality - others. Jesus does not explicitly identify what that toxic flaw is, but the context points to their obstinate refusal to believe in spite of the evidence. They will not admit the truth, let alone embrace it, even when it stares them Garland, David E. (2011-03-01). Mark (The NIV Application Commentary Book 2) (p. 310). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. Both Herod and the Pharisees idealized the Kingdom as domineering power and authority. Herod saw it more as political power and authority, and the Pharisees saw it as more spiritual power and authority, but they still saw the kingdom in this high-minded way. Remember Herod too was a sign seeker Herod had betrayed a hostile interest in Jesus, and a tradition tion not recorded by Mark indicates his own desire to see a sin (Lk. 23:8). William L. Lane. The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 2904-2905). Kindle Edition. Luke 23:8 (ESV) — 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.

3.2.4. take head "Take heed of this leaven" (saith Christ), "be convinced by the miracles ye have seen, and covet not to see more."

3.3. 16

3.3.1. They had no bread Their distraction with small things keeps them from seeing the main thing Too much money to feed the craowd No place to get bread in the deserted area They have no bread

3.4. 17

3.4.1. Do you not yet perceive? Repeated exposure to Jesus' teaching and mighty works had not led to reflection on their significance but to a basic insensitivity and dullness. William L. Lane. The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 2910-2911). Kindle Edition. So dangerous to be around and not believe!

3.4.2. hardened hearts The indignant questions concerning hardness of heart and blindness of disposition echo the description of Israel in prophetic literature (Jer.5:21; Ezek. 12:2; Isa. 6:9f.) and are related to the distinction between the crowd and the Twelve in Ch. 4:11 f. William L. Lane. The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 2913-2914). Kindle Edition. NOte what Mark shows us about the disciples Mark 4:13 (ESV) — 13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

3.5. 18

3.5.1. Serious diagnosis the the disciples might actually be outsiders at this point, not insiders jesus described outsiders by this .... Mark 4:12 (ESV) — 12 so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” which is a quote of: Jeremiah 5:21 (ESV) — 21 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. Ezekiel 12:2 (ESV) — 2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. Do you see what mark does? Do you see how layered his book is? So in Mark 8 we're still learning what Mark 4 is mark 6 and mark 8 are bread feedings, sandwhiching an event that a Gentile is asking from crumbs *** Mark has a healing of the deaf and helaing of the blind before and after this event to say, this is the disciples, and unless Jesus does a miracle, they will never see, never hear no matter how hard they try, no matter how obvious the truth is before them. More on the sovereign grace it takes to remove spiritual blindness next week, but this week, just note, that though they see and hear, they still don't get it Yes, the human heart is that bad!

3.6. 19-20

3.6.1. Comical

3.6.2. Notice there is no marvel in this second feeding at same time, no understanding to it's point

3.6.3. Matthew 6 He had said, “Take no thought for what you shall eat and what you shall drink, Your Father knows you have need of these things. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added.”


4.1. Opening Ilustration

4.1.1. ILL: Forgot my suit

4.1.2. I remember reading years ago, Voltaire, the French atheist, and some of his skeptical statements. One of them stuck with me, he said this, “Even if a miracle should be wrought in the open marketplace before a thousand sober witnesses, I would rather mistrust my senses than admit a miracle.” Well you had a whole generation of Voltaires in Israel. Unbelief will always find a way to reject the truth and drive itself down deeper into darkness. It was that tragic figure Woody Allen who once said, “If God would give me a clear sign, I would believe, like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank,” end quot


5.1. Title

5.2. Outline

6. Conclusion

6.1. vs 21 - do you NOT YET UNDERSTAND

6.1.1. It means they will, but not until the cross and resurrection.

6.1.2. It means even if they tried, they could not.

6.1.3. Faith is so dependent upon God!


6.2.1. One trusts even when there is no objective evidence. Schweizer compares it to the trust that a spouse has that his or her mate is faithful. One can hire a private investigator to gather indisputable proof that the spouse is faithful. Doing anything like this would shatter a relationship that is supposed to be based on love and trust. Garland, David E. (2011-03-01). Mark (The NIV Application Commentary Book 2) (p. 318). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

6.2.2. Belief can exist and not affect one’s conduct. One can believe statistical evidence that flying in an airplane is far safer than traveling the highways in a car, but fear of flying may prevent one from ever booking a trip on a plane. Trust, on the other hand, results in certain actions. Both belief and trust intertwine. Garland, David E. (2011-03-01). Mark (The NIV Application Commentary Book 2) (p. 318). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.


6.3.1. The Agnostic An agnostic scientist once asked author Dorothy Sayers to write a letter to his scientific organization setting forth her reasons for believing in the Christian faith. The letter he received back was not at all what the scientist had expected. It read: “Why do you want a letter from me? Why don’t you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don’t you do as much for theology? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook of church history will tell you where they came from? Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity—God, the Three in One—yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you that E=MC2? I admit you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you humbly go to the man who understands the works; if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar. Why do you want a letter from me? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I’m giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Go away and do some work on your own and let me get on with mine.” From God Still Speaks in the Space Age, quoted in Connexions, a publication of Search Ministries, Vol. 1, No. 6, June, 1988, pp. 19-20)


7.1. The difference between a pagan and a Christian … Pagans and Christians both repent of their sins. Oh, pagans know their sins are bad. They recognize their sins are bad. The difference between a pagan and a Christian is not that the Christians repent of their sins, because pagans repent of their sins too. Pagans do not, though, repent of their righteousness. Christians do. That’s the difference. Christians know that even their best deeds fall short, whereas pagans think their best deeds are rent. They’re paying the rent. They expect their life to go okay. They get mad when their lif - keller, the basis of prayer

8. Structure of Mark

8.1. Marks writing

8.1.1. Parallel Feeding the Multtitueds 6:31-44 8:1-9 Crossing the sea 6:45-56 8:10 Conflict with Pharisees 7:1-23 8:11-13 Conversation about bread 7:24-30 8:14-21 Healing 7:31-36 8:22-26 Confession of faith 7:37 8:27-30

9. FLow

9.1. We have to start, this morning, with the permanent blindness, verses 11 to 13. Again our Lord is face to face with those who hate Him. They love their sin. They love their self-righteousness which was their chief sin. They love their hypocrisy. They are naturally blind. They are sinfully blind. They are satanically blind. And they are now about to be sovereignly blinded and they will be eternally in the darkness. Just to set the scene a little bit, it’s been a while. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, He has just come back from a tour of Gentile areas. Remember back in chapter 7 about verse 24 when it says that He left Galilee and went north up to Tyre and Sidon? That’s Gentile territory and He traversed through that for an extended period of time. Went way north of the Sea of Galilee and then swept down to the southeast portion, the southeast portion of the Sea of Galilee to an area called Decapolis, meaning ten cities, they were Gentile cities. And His ministry was among the Gentiles and He was teaching His disciples that this gospel is not just for the Jews, but it’s for all. They needed to see that. They needed to learn that. And in Decapolis, you remember, chapter 8 begins with an amazing miracle that He did there that parallels the miracle He did in Galilee. In Galilee He fed five thousand men plus women and children. In Decapolis, the Gentile area, He feeds four thousand men plus women and children, a very similar feeding miracle. That’s where we end in verse 10. After that miracle which happens on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, He goes across in the boat to the northwest, up by Capernaum to a place called Dalmanutha, you notice that in verse 10, or Magadan is another name from that area, just near Capernaum. That was His headquarters.