Read: Mark 8:1-38
Centering Verse: Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27)
- Why do the disciples have a hard time understanding the meaning of the feeding miracle, even after experiencing it twice?
- How can God use even the broken pieces of your life to “feed” the world?
- What would it look like to set your mind on divine things?
- What does it mean to lose your life for the sake of Jesus?
Mark is a fast-paced Gospel and sometimes it can appear that he is throwing stories together randomly. Yet this entire chapter could be viewed in terms of blindness and the ability to not only see, but to perceive things accurately. Even after two feeding miracles – not to mention the regular daily interactions they have with Jesus – the disciples struggle to both understand and trust Jesus. Yet, it is a man who presumably meets Jesus for the first time who opens himself to receiving the power of Jesus, which restore his physical sight. And then, there are the Pharisees who argue with Jesus and have closed themselves off from his message. Who is really blind in this passage and who truly sees clearly? At this point in his ministry, Jesus is demanding more from the disciples. They must know who Jesus truly is and fully understand his message. This is hard for them when the message doesn’t fit their preconceived notions of who the Messiah is. Peter, for example, might understand who Jesus is, but he has been blinded to what that really means. Jesus opens the disciples’ eyes to the difficult, sacrificial meaning of the cross and their participation in the cross. Sometimes seeing clearly means that you must make a choice between ignoring difficult realities or giving up your own rights and demands to participate in that which is truly good and just. On the journey to the cross, the disciples will have to make that choice. What would you choose?
LORD God, who has opened our spiritual eyes so that we might recognize you and our hearts so that we might receive you, bring clarity to our souls. May we be a clear vision of your goodness for the world. Amen.