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Friday, January 19, 2018

2018.01.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 8:22-38

Questions for Littles: Where did Jesus come in v22? What did they beg Jesus to do to the blind man? What did Jesus do by touching the man’s hand in v23? Then what did Jesus do to the man’s eyes? When Jesus put His hands on the man again, what did He ask? How did the man answer (v24)? What does Jesus do when He touches the man the third time (v25)? Where does Jesus send the man in v26? What does He tell him not to do? Where are Jesus and the disciples, when they have the conversation in v27-33? What does Jesus ask them first (v27)? What do they answer (v28)? What does He ask them in v29a? What does Peter answer (29b)? What does He warn them in v30? What does He begin to teach them in v31? What does Jesus do to Him in v32? What does Jesus call Peter in v33? What explanation does Jesus give for that? Whom does He call to Himself for the rest of the lesson in v34? What does He say someone who desires to follow Him must do? Whom does He say will lose his life in v35? For what purpose does He say we should lose our life? What will we lose if we gain the whole world by being ashamed of Christ (v36-37)? Of whom must we not be ashamed (v38)? Of what must we not be ashamed? If are ashamed of Jesus and His words now, who will be ashamed of us and when?
In the Gospel reading this week, we face the fact that the Lord has His own plan and His own timing that are quite different from what we would do with our lives.

We know that Jesus doesn’t even need to touch the blind man to heal him. But Jesus takes him by the hand, puts His hands on the man’s eyes, and puts His hands on the man’s eyes again. That’s three different touchings, in addition to a leading out of town, a spitting on the eyes, and a raising up of the man’s face.

So many steps! Why? Because it’s the wisdom of Jesus to do it that way and in that much time.
Then there’s the warning of the man not to go into town or tell anyone from town. And there’s His strictly warning the disciples not (yet) to tell anyone that He is the Christ(!). Why? Because it’s the wisdom of Jesus to do it that way at that time.

Of course, we’re tempted to disagree with Him. In fact, the more we think that we know about Him, the more serious it seems that this temptation can be. It is specifically Peter, who has confessed Jesus as the Christ, who is suddenly so sure of himself that he earns being called Satan(!!).

And, often, it is we who have walked with the Lord and known His love and wisdom in other situations, who suddenly find ourselves most bewildered when His plan for our current situation is very different than we would have expected.

A cross? A world of people scorning me? What have I done to cause this?! The answer may be: nothing at all. It may in fact be that we’ve been given that cross and that scorn not for the sake of some error in our conduct but precisely for the sake of Jesus and His Word.

Let’s not give into the lie that if we just treat people well enough, they will like us. Jesus teaches us to expect the opposite. It’s the wisdom of Jesus to do it in this way at this time. Let us learn to be able to say, “It is the Lord; let Him do as seems best to Him!”
In what current situation in your life has the Lord’s wisdom puzzled you?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or HB366 “Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right”

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