Beth Moore - Vision Testing - Part 1
Let me tell you something. He's come to speak in power to us because his Word is fresh and alive, what sets it apart from anything else we could read. It's not just ancient words that are dried up on the page, but these are living words breathed by God, and they still have the warmth of God's breath on them. So I want you to know as we open them up, they speak right into your current experience, right into my current experience. That's the miracle of the Scriptures, and I just can't wait to open them with you.
So I'm going to ask you, if you would please, to open with me to the Gospel of Mark and the eighth chapter. I'm about to start reading to you in verse 14 and I'm going to read through verse 33, but what I want to do before that time, to give you a little bit of context, is I want you to look at the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Mark and I want you to see the captions that are going to proceed where we're going to begin picking up in just a moment at verse 14. So if your Bible is somewhat labeled like mine is, you're going to see that it begins chapter 8 with the feeding of 4.000. That's going to become important to us in just a moment. It's going to go into where the Pharisees come, and this is at verse 11, to argue with Jesus and they demand a sign. He goes, "I'm not going to give you a sign". And then he leaves them, he gets back into the boat, and he is with his disciples.
And I'm going to pick up there, but here's what we're going to do. In this portion that I'm about to read to you in Mark chapter 8, we're going to see three different scenes. And at first glance two of them may seem to be interconnected, but what I want to suggest to you is a very strong possibility that all three of them are, that the ordering itself of the way the Gospel of Mark, any of the Gospels of the Scriptures in their entirety are put together is very intentional. Remember this is inspired by God. And so I want you to see the very strong possibility, that all three of these segments are connected together with great purpose and something that is going to be seen to us, dramatically displayed to us in the center portion of it.
So I'm going to start Mark chapter 8. Remember what we've talked аbout: feeding of the 4.000, the leaven of the Pharisees, and then I'm picking up at verse 14, Mark chapter 8. "The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat". Now, it's very important that you see that at the very beginning of chapter 8 there has been the feeding of the 4.000. And so Jesus is looking at them. Maybe he's rolling his eyes, I don't know. But verse 15 says, "He gave them strict orders: 'Watch out. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.' They were discussing," verse 16 says, "among themselves that they did not have any bread". Verse 17, "Aware of this, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Don't you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And'", this part is so important, this question right here, "'do you not remember?'"
Have you ever noticed how we'll start panicking, and he's going like, "Do you not remember"? Sometimes I feel like, that the Lord is whispering to my heart not out loud where I could hear him with my physical ears, but in my heart I feel like every now and then he's going like, "Have I not carried you through worse than this"? Anybody know what I'm talking about? "Oh, did you forget? You're acting like we got to know one other yesterday, Beth". "Do you not remember"? He says in verse 19, "When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect? 'Twelve,' they told him. When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect? 'Seven,' they said. And he said to them, 'Do you understand yet?' The came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked him, 'Do you see anything?' He looked up and he said, 'I see people. They look like trees walking.' And again Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes, and the man looked intently and his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly. Then Jesus sent him home, saying, 'Don't even go into the village.'"
Verse 27, "Jesus went out with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that I am?' They answered him, 'John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others one of the prophets.' 'But you,' he asked them, 'who do you say that I am?' Peter answered him, 'You are the Messiah.' And he strictly warned them to tell no one about him". If you remember Matthew's Gospel, if you're familiar with it, he goes on to say, "Only the Father could have revealed this to you". Goes on to say in verse 31, and I will read through 33, "Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Turning around and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and he said, 'Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking about God's concerns but human concerns.'"
We have come to the eye doctor. See, you don't just go once. I don't know how often you've been, I don't know if you've been yet at all, but chances are if you live long enough you will go. I hate to warn you of that. But throughout the course of our lives, we intermittently need to have our eyes checked to see if they are still healthy because we can lose our clarity so slowly. They can fog up so gradually that we don't even realize we are no longer seeing clearly. What we're seeing is fog. We have to see if maybe we become farsighted or nearsighted. See, we can't always tell when our sight has deteriorated. Sometimes, for instance, a foreign object has been stuck in our eyes so long it no longer hurts. We can develop cataracts, blind spots, tunnel vision.
What I hope to convince you of, and before this night is over, is that you and I want to be people who can see, people who can see. We have access to a great physician who restores vision. Like you, remember when you had it, like you thought you had some clarity. You thought you knew what you had surrendered to. You thought you had an idea of where this is going, and there's a strange way with having vision on you of getting to a place where you thought you were supposed to be only to think that God put you there and then abandoned you there; and you need to know that that is not an uncommon experience and that he has not abandoned you, and he's building up your faith. And if there's anything I think he is going to do this weekend in his holy name, I believe it's going to be to restore some vision. Anybody game for that?
Now, I want you to know something. We have a very important caveat, and I want to make sure that this is said. We're going to be talking about eyesight in terms of spiritual sight, and why this is so important is because we're talking about the kind of sight that only Christ can give. So if you happen to be one who has a physical impairment of sight in some way, I want you to understand something from the top so nothing gets on you where it's hard for you to hear. Nothing we're doing in the lesson makes it one iota less applicable to you. We're talking about spiritual vision. We'll use lots of examples of physical seeing, physical sight so that we can build the metaphor, but I want you to understand constantly what we're talking about is having vision restored to us that only Christ Jesus can give. Maybe it's not restoration at all. Maybe you've never had it at all. This is going to be a house we're praying with all of our hearts, where there's going to be some recovery of sight for the blind.
See, when we look at the Bible as a whole, so if you're very, very accustomed to the Gospels and you were raised on the Gospels, if you were raised in Sunday school and stories of Jesus like I was, then it's very normal to think first in terms of sight to the blind being a very physical thing because we see it so often in the Gospels. We also see it in the Book of Acts. But if you pull back from the Bible as a whole and you look at it from Genesis to Revelation, we find out that he is constantly using what was a physical restoration to make a much bigger point that he is one who comes to recover and give sight to the blind; and it is a spiritual blindness, a sight that only Christ can give. So here's the thing. We could have 2020 vision with our physical eyes and be in complete darkness spiritually. We could have no sight whatsoever with our physical eyes and see with a clarity into the things of Christ in such a way that is extraordinary.
So we're going to use a number of things about physical sight to make some points about spiritual sight. I have brought with me an eyeball perhaps you, if you're familiar at all with this ministry you're not surprised about. I told my assistant KMac back in Houston, if anybody looked at our texts and saw the kinds of things, I said, "Would you please order me some eyeballs for the weekend"? And, you know, she wasn't even surprised. No. I said, "I'd like one big eyeball that you can take apart, and then I'd like a pair of eyeballs". This is what goes right here. A pair of eyeballs. And I said, "Listen, I don't want them to be play like. I want to get them as real as they can". I said, "In fact, could you google and see if you could get me a real pair of eyes in a jar"? She said, "No, you can't have real eyes in a jar". I said, "Not in formaldehyde"? She said, "There's no eyes in a jar that we're going to be able to get you".
So this is as close as we could come to it. But I love visuals like this. And today my friend Steven was saying to me when he saw this, he said, "Beth," he said, "you love science". I said, "What I love, what I love is the way and the wonder with which God created things". It's just like I can chase that rabbit all to I don't even know the way home because I just love it. I just get fixated on something and I cannot stop. So here's where I want to begin with you. I want to talk about the physical eye so that we can get a bit of steam going with our spiritual sight.
I want to tell you a couple of things, a couple of fun facts because I want you to understand how much wonder is in your head with that pair of eyes that you have got stuck in those holes in your skull. I mean, there's some wonder in there. Did you know that your eyes are the second most complex organ in the human body, second only to the brain? This is interesting stuff here, folks. Lean in. I got from an article called, you won't be surprised, "The Wonders of the Eye, the Windows to the Soul".
Did you know that the muscles in your eye are the most active muscles in your body. They're the ones moving the most. Even as we sleep, still moving; constantly moving, constantly moving. Very active muscles. The most active muscles. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors, 10 million different colors. We spend about 10% of our day blinking. I don't know if that is an encouragement to you, but because I don't get as much sleep as I wish I feel like, "You know what? Ten percent of the time I'm awake, I'm still blinking". You know, that's got to amount to, it's got to accumulate into some kind of little nap there. I mean, at least, you know, an hour I'm napping during the day just by virtue of the fact that I'm blinking. Anybody understand what I'm saying? Just blinking.
I found out that there are some video games that are literally used to help retrain and strengthen a lazy eye in adults. One of them was Tetris. Literally used as a way to strengthen that eye. The last wonder that I want to talk about, certainly not the last wonder about eyes, but the last one I want to talk about is one that I found the most intriguing. The camera equivalent of the human eye would be 576 megapixels. Now, we're talking about resolution here. And if you're like me, like I was going like, "I know that is impressive". But I don't know how impressive because I don't know what a camera would be. So I looked into that. For starters, a megapixel is 1 million pixels, 1 million pixels. So let me say again, the eye has 576 megapixels. The camera with the most megapixels currently available commercially, it probably is going to max out at 150 megapixels. Remember that the eye is 576 megapixels. But I love this.
And so here's what you're picturing here, 576 megapixels right here and just in one. Just in one right here. Just in one right here. So the human eye is almost four times better than the best available camera. That 150 megapixel camera costs an average around $50.000. A human is walking around with roughly $200.000 worth of free megapixels on their faces. That's pretty good, isn't it? That's a pretty wonderful thing to know. And so I want you to understand with me that this is all about strictly the human eye, which is only a tangible picture, a shadow of the greater reality that is spiritual sight. Now listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me because what you and I will tend to do constantly is that we think of this as the great tangible reality 'cause I can grab on to you, I can feel the bone in your wrist.
We think, I mean, this is reality, and that when we die we're going, like, to a ghost town where we'll walk through one another, you know what I'm saying? Like in this, and we're going to some because, I mean, we're going to, like, we're going to sit on clouds and we're just going to play harps. This is how we picture it. Just like ethereal, we're going to be all ghosts and we're just going to, you know, I got to be honest with you. It is just not appealing to me. It's just not appealing to me. When I was growing up as a little girl and I was, I hate to admit this to you, but when I thought about heaven, the reason, I come from a church where, I mean, this is the way the invitation was given. "Do you want to go to hell? Because that is where you're going. And if you don't want to go to hell".
And, you know, it was the truth. It was the truth, but I here's what I thought. I thought, "I don't want to go to hell, I don't really want to go to heaven either, but I want to go to heaven more than I want to go to hell. That's what I want". Anybody know what I'm talking about? Because we think, I mean, we're going to be leaving all this reality, all this color behind, and we don't begin to understand, Colossians chapter 2 tells us these things are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. This is a shadow. This is a ghost town compared to where we're going, and these eyes right here, this is nothing but fog compared to the reality of spiritual vision. That's what we've got at stake here.
I wanted to share something with you. I wanted to share with you something that Charles Darwin said about the eye, and this is in the sixth chapter of the "Origin of Species". Charles Darwin in a portion called "Organs of Extreme Perfection," and he talks about the eye, and I'm going to quote him here. "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree".
Now, he goes on to say, but yet it's the truth, and he goes on to explain how he comes to that conclusion although it would seem, and I'm going to put my words into this, such a reach. I think it's so interesting that he's going, "Okay, I've got to admit here this seems absurd, but I'm going to tell you why it's not". But I'd like to suggest to you that he was right the first time. Utterly absurd because it's such a wonder and so complex. I want you to look back with me at Mark chapter 8 and go to that portion that I hope grabbed your attention in 22 through 26, 22 through 26. You remember it with me? "So they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and he brought him out of the village. And spitting on his eyes".
Now, I don't know how many of you have Purell within 6 inches of your hand right now. He spits on his, I mean, there's a lot of places to spit but in the eye. Spit in his eye, laid his hands on him, and he asked him the strangest question. This is the son of God and very God. "Do you see anything"? So he looks up. So he's got to be down, you know, down below in. So he looks up like this. He says, "Well, I see people". And he says, "They're like trees walking". Well, Jesus is going like, "That ain't it. That's not leaves you're seeing on top of those heads. That's not it. That's not it". And so, "Again Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes. The man looked intently and his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly. He sent him home, saying, 'Don't even go into the village.'"
What on earth has happened here? We don't see this any other place. The Gospel of Mark is so, so interesting. Shortest of them all. First of them all. And here's his two-stage healing. Why on earth. Well, I'm suggesting to you that it's tucked right where it needs to be because we are staring in the face of it in the chapter. The verses before it correlate in such a way that it's tremendously obvious. Notice with me that it says, so we're at 22 through 26. Look back up there and you're going to see with me in 18. Remember that he's saying, "Wait a second. You're worried about your bread after what you've seen me do not once but twice? You picked up the leftovers, and I'm asking you, 'Do you not remember?'" And he says to them in verse 18, "Do you have eyes and do not see"? Because we could have eyes with 2020 vision and he's still going like, "Can you not see"? "What is it you're trying to show"? "Can you not see"? "What are you"... "Can you not see"?