Double Vision or Second Sight?

By Scott Masson/ March 4, 2012

Series  Christian Discipleship

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Discipleship

Scripture  Mark 8:22-9:1

Seeing the cross as a symbol of humiliation and defeat, Peter's response was to oppose God's plan of salvation. Having in mind the things of God, we see the cross as part of God's rescue plan.

Scripture: Mark 8:22-9:1

Sermon Notes:

  1. Many Canadians have rejected real Christianity. The question for us is, are we seeing Jesus clearly or are we seeing with double vision?
  2. Who is Jesus? Why did He come? What does it mean to follow Him?
  3. Mark begins his gospel account with the statement that Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1); then Mark goes on proving Christ's deity.
  4. The disciples were blind to Jesus' teaching (cf. Mark 8:17-18).
  5. The incident where Jesus heals the blind man by spitting on his eyes prepares us for the events that follow.
  6. Spitting is a sign of cursing. Jesus isn't cursing the man, but rather the Devil's work which has made him blind. Then He touches the cursed man, which means He takes on His own curse (this is an anticipation of the atonement, where Jesus is cursed by God when He bears the Father's wrath at human sin).
  7. The disciples are spiritually blind and need Jesus' touch; in verses 27-29, their spiritual blindness is being cured.
  8. Jesus touches the disciples a second time and corrects their partial vision, explaining that it's necessary for Him to suffer and die (v31-32).
  9. The only way for sinful persons to be brought back into full relationship with God is if He dies for our sins, becoming a curse for us.
  10. Jesus rebukes Peter (v33) for seeing the cross from man's perspective and aligning himself with Satan. This is equivalent to spitting in the blind man's eye.
  11. Seeing the cross as a symbol of humiliation and defeat, Peter's response was to oppose God's plan of salvation.
  12. Having in mind the things of God, we see the cross as part of God's rescue plan: Jesus willingly chose to suffer, being cut off from the Father so that we don't need to be cut off from God.
  13. From God's perspective, this is not weakness; the cross is the place where history turns, the event where sin and death are conquered.
  14. We may feel that we're not one of Jesus' sheep because we haven't been successful enough, we haven't done enough for God.
  15. God in Christ rescues lost sheep on the basis of His own work on the cross, not based on anything we can do of our own goodness and strength.
  16. What does Jesus demand of us? What is that joy in the church?
  17. Like the disciples, we need to follow Him (see v34).
  18. Our culture rejects the right of God to tell us how to live.
  19. God made us, and we're dependent on Him; it's absurd to live in our world as if we're the ultimate masters of our destiny.
  20. God's claim on our lives is radical: our work, our family, our relationships, and our sex lives are all subjected to God's will, spoken through His Word into our lives.
  21. We, ourselves, oppress us most, when we regard ourselves as masters of our destiny at Satan's prompting.
  22. To be one with Christ is to be one with His mission, dying to self, ready to endure suffering and ridicule.
  23. The ministry of God is transformative, calling us to follow Him.
  24. We are not our own, but belong body and soul to our Savour, Christ.
  25. When you follow Christ He is your exceeding great reward.
  26. Making Christ first in everything feels like a loss from a human perspective, but from God's perspective we're gaining joy eternal.
  27. It is Christ's mission; we're not going to polish brass on a sinking ship; the sinking ship is the messianic state which has failed, bringing debt, moral chaos, family breakdown, etc.
  28. We're seeking to find the lost sheep, to be a city on a hill, to show justice and compassion on the widow and orphan, to establish a Christian school, etc.
  29. We cannot yoke ourselves with those who spit in Christ's face and expect to receive His blessing.
  30. We'll be treated by Christ exactly as we've treated Him (Mark 8:38).

Application Questions:

  1. Who do I say Jesus is? Do I see the face of God in Christ?
  2. How can God's Messiah-King bring back God's kingdom reign by His death? What does the cross mean to me personally?
  3. Who has the right to tell you how to live your life? Why? Will I obey?
  4. Explain how we oppress ourselves most when we place ourselves as masters of our own destiny?
  5. What is the significance of taking up the cross and dying to self in our Christian lives? Why is it non-negotiable?
  6. What specific things may God be calling me to give up to put Him first in my life?
  7. Am I compromising with the world? What's the consequence? See Mark 8:38.

Sermon Notes