Staff Corner: Greg Spires,Teaching Pastor
Driving to grandma’s house on Christmas Eve was sometimes a scary ordeal when I was a child. Back then, the fog in the Rogue Valley was awful at Christmas time. As we made our way in the car on Columbus Avenue, we would creep along as dad strained to see the edge of the road. None of us wanted to end up in the ditch. Sometimes it seemed the fog was so thick we couldn’t even see the end of the car's hood.
Now and then, as we drove through that dense fog, it would suddenly clear up. It is difficult to explain the sensation when the fog clears. One moment your eyes are straining to see, and then suddenly, the world snaps into focus with tremendous clarity. On a clear day, we take for granted clear vision. On a foggy night, when we suddenly find clarity, the relief of it is incredible.
This sensation must have been even more incredible for a blind man Jesus healed in Mark 8:22-25. Jesus applied saliva to the man’s eyes and asked if he could see anything. The man replied, “I see people, but they look like trees walking.” Mark 8:25 says, “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
The man went from blind to seeing dimly, to seeing clearly. Jesus healed the man because of His compassion. However, that isn’t the only reason He gave the man his sight—all of Jesus’ miracles were intended to communicate that He was the Messiah. Healing the blind was one of the things prophecies said the Messiah would do. But this miracle has more to it than even prophecy fulfillment.
Right after this event, recorded in Mark 8:27-30, Jesus asks His disciples who they think He is. Peter replies in Mark 8:29, “You are the Christ.”
To see clearly is to see Jesus as our Savior and King. To trust Jesus is to see clearly for the first time. Without Jesus, we live in spiritual blindness that numbs us to the goodness and glory of the Kingdom of God.
Even in Christ, though, we still have a hard time seeing. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” In Jesus, we now see more clearly than ever. But we aren’t home yet, and we can tell that we still suffer from cloudy vision. One day we will see clearly. Until then, we live in faith, following Jesus, even though we don’t know what the future holds.
The story of Jesus’ birth is the story of the fog lifting so we can see. The good news is that we have clear vision to see the glory of Christ who came to save us. The more difficult news is that with clear eyes, we become aware of how much we have sinned against God. But His grace is sufficient for us. With joy, we see Jesus, and with hope, we look forward to the day we will see Him in perfect clarity.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, the second week of Advent, we will reflect on Jesus – our Dayspring.
Praying with you,