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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Ninth (Connections)

How was your week? I hope it was a good one! Things continue to escalate in the world, but we take solace in the promise of the coming of our Lord, Yeshua Ha Mashiach (John 14:3). When you look at some of the things happening in the world, the things people are talking about, does it make you wonder why they can't see the obvious? Why they can't see the truth? For example, when you look at the events happening in nature, doesn't it seem like they're confused by what's going on? They think they have it all figured out, but when you look at the truth they have no idea. Perhaps this is what Jesus was referring to when He said there would be confusion about the roaring and tossing of the sea (Luke 21:25).

As a side note, you may find it interesting that in that particular verse, the word for roaring is echos. Strong's Concordance tells us the usage of this word is sound, or noise, but could also be used to mean a rumor or report. For example, this word is used when talking about the fame, or reports, that went out when Jesus cast out a demon (Luke 4:37). I just find it interesting that the false reports about what's happening in nature cause confusion and anguish as much as the storms and things that are actually occurring. Perhaps Jesus used this word to mean both contexts.

But anyway, as it just so happens, this side note ties into what we're taking a look at this week. We're going to look at some connections in scripture that were brought to my attention when I started wondering about a certain event. Then, to close, I want to touch on something that sort of confirms a previous thought I discussed.

It all started with a search that led me to the verse I'm going to close on this week. I read that chapter and was brought to the blind man at Bethsaida. As I read, a few things jumped out at me and caused me to wonder. To start, let's review what happened. (Mark 8:14-26)

The disciples, still not elevating their thoughts to the spiritual level, were debating (arguing) with each other about only having one loaf of bread. Yeshua heard them debating and reminded them of the recent events where they were miraculously given food for multitudes of people and had plenty of leftovers. He was pointing out the fact that they were worried about not having food when they had already experienced first hand that Yehovah would give them what they needed when they needed it.

They then arrived at Bethsaida and a blind man was brought to Jesus. Here's where it gets interesting (already!). Instead of healing this man right there, Yeshua brought him outside the town. This is the first question: why take him out of the town to heal him? Then, Jesus spit on the man's eyes, put His hands on him, and asked him if he could see.

This brings the second question: why did Jesus spit on the man? Why not just tell him he's healed? That course of action was used previously (Mark 5:34), so why was spit used for this event? Following this, the man couldn't quite see clearly. Instead of people, the man saw what looked like trees walking around. Which brings us to our next question: why wasn't the man healed the first time? Jesus touched the man again and had him look up. Only then was his sight fully restored.

Finally, the man was told to go home, not into town, and not to tell anyone in the town what happened. So, the final question is why the secrecy? Why not spread the news of this healing to everyone so they can see and believe in the Son of God?

Let's look at this last question along with the first. When you look for this city in scripture you find something interesting. Yeshua gave this town woe along with the town of Chorazin (Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13). He specifically mentioned great works that were done there and suggested that the people in the town didn't fully appreciate those works. But, did this woe come before or after the blind man?

Well, when the disciples came back from being sent out by Jesus, He took them to a place in the desert that belonged to Bethsaida (Luke 9:10). This is when the multitude came and He spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed those who needed healing (Luke 9:11). This is also when the multitude was fed with only five loaves and two fishes (Luke 9:16). The same event that Jesus referenced when the disciples were debating about their one loaf of bread.

So, the woe given to Bethsaida is possibly the result of the city not receiving this miracle, fully understanding and appreciating it, and looking inward and repenting. It's also possibly why Jesus took the blind man out of the city to heal him and also told him not to go into the city or tell anyone there about it. It seems the majority of the city was focused on the works of Jesus' healings rather than the message He was bringing to them.

What about this healing process, then? Spit and two tries? For this, I believe it's a shadow (a representation) of a couple things. First, we need to remind ourselves what type of people were in this city. This was a Jewish city, and in fact, Philip, Andrew and Peter were all from Bethsaida (John 1:44, 12:21). I believe the fact that this man was partially healed with one laying of hands is a representation of the Jewish people and only some of them receiving Jesus and His promise of salvation. The second laying of hands on this, now partially, blind man was a representation of the second coming of Yeshua, when the rest of the Jewish people will look up (just as Jesus made the blind man do) and see their Mashiach coming in the clouds (Luke 21:28). They will then see clearly what was so obvious to everyone else that saw from the beginning.

Finally, I believe the use of spit is a representation of the promise of living water from Jesus (Jeremiah 17:13, Zechariah 14:8, John 4:14, 7:37, Revelation 21:6, 22:1). This is the river of life, the spring that gives eternal life through Him. So, in summary, Jesus healed this man in a way that provided a glimpse into what was to come. In the process, He also took the man outside of the "world" that only wanted physical healing and not spiritual healing, healed him, and then told him not to go back into the "world" because they had made their choice already.

As promised, to close I want to talk about a verse that gave me another puzzle. This verse, as I looked into it, gave confirmation to a previous topic I touched on about the nature of Jesus. In this verse, if you read any translation it reads as if Jesus said, "Truly, no sign will be given to this generation," in one form or another (Mark 8:12). However, the Greek behind this phrase reads something entirely different.

The Greek says, essentially, "Truly, I say to you if this generation is given a sign." I read this and was thoroughly confused. Is this a case where the translators went rogue? Well, it turns out Jesus was using a Hebrew idiom here. The full phrase was, "God do such and such to me if [insert event or occurrence here]." Eventually it was shortened to just the second half of the phrase. So, Jesus was saying, "God do _____ to me if this generation is given a sign."

In my opinion, this is an example of just how human Jesus was. I read this and I can just picture Him saying, "oy vey!" While this phrase may or may not have existed back then, to me it is a picture of the human nature of Him and His usage of the sayings of His time, much the same way He is portrayed in the show The Chosen. A lot of times, He is shown as so formal and stiff and it takes away from the whole purpose He came for: to be human like us. If you lose that part, He becomes almost a shell of who He actually is. He loses the part that connects Him to us, which prevents some from really truly accepting Him and bringing Him into their life.

There are lots of connections in Jesus' ministry to future events and past events. There's a lot of imagery and representation, messages on deeper levels that we can find if we search. Seek them out by studying His Word, and remember He is human and one of the things He is to us is a friend. Remember His human nature and when you share Him with others, don't leave that part out!

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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