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Maranatha Blog - For What We Fail to See

For What We Fail to See

Posted by Daniel Fewster on

They just didn't get it.

In Mark 8:14-21 we see Jesus warn his disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.  His disciples start talking with each other and are confused because they have no bread with them.  Leaven is a very critical ingredient to have when baking bread.  Their natural minds could not conceive that Jesus wasn’t talking about literal leaven, but about spiritual leaven.

Upon hearing their discussion, Jesus asks a very pointed question in Mark 8:18.

“Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”

I’m not going to get into exactly how this verse relates in direct context to itself, but rather, I will focus on the principle being presented, which is:  Jesus spoke, the disciples misunderstood what he meant, and it was because though they could see, they weren’t seeing with the right ‘eyes.’  They weren’t hearing with the correct ‘ears.

God's perspective on a blind man...

In the Kingdom of God, perspective plays an enormous role. To relate this to the life of Jesus we can apply it directly to his healing ministry. In John 9, Jesus sees a blind man who, from his perspective, could be healed and would be.  Others saw a blind man who had sinned and was being punished.  The same situation, but two very different perspectives that were based upon what the individual’s understanding was.  Jesus understood that God could and would heal through him.  He ‘saw’ the provision that God had provided to him, and based his life off of that reality.  Others did not have that perspective.  Rather than ‘seeing’ through the eyes of faith and understanding God’s will and ability to heal, they ‘saw’ through their 5 senses and the law and deemed the blind man a sinner who deserved his blindness, and wanted to know who to blame.

I'll believe it when I see it!

It is not often talked about in many Christian circles, but unfortunately the fact is that you can be a born again Christian but still view life through the carnal mind (just look at the Corinthians).  The carnal mind is a mind that bases truth and reality off of the 5 senses; what it can see, taste, touch, smell and hear.  It’s based on feelings.  It’s concerned with the natural realm: “I’ll believe it when I see it!”  Romans 8:6-7 says the carnal mind (also known as the ‘flesh’ or ‘natural man’) is at war with God.  1 Corinthians 2:14 shows us how a person who doesn’t use spiritual discernment through the Holy Spirit can’t possibly understand the things of God because they try to understand spiritual truths with their carnal, natural minds.

When He's talking spiritual but the we're hearing carnal...

This is exactly why the disciples missed what Jesus was talking about in Mark chapter 8.  Jesus was talking spiritual but the disciples were hearing carnal.  Through this example we see how a person ‘seeing’ with their spiritual mind and a person ‘seeing’ with their carnal mind can observe the same information completely differently.  How else could Jesus tell us to rejoice in persecution (Matt.5:11-12)? How could James honestly say to count it all joy when we face various trials (James 1:2)?  It’s because they understood that when you see life through the spiritual lens of Christ, even pain and suffering become something to rejoice about.  That statement is heresy to the carnal mind, but its life and peace to the person operating in the mind of Christ.


The beauty of the gospel is that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection give us a right to a brand new perspective on life.  Being in covenant relationship with Father God enables us to start seeing life and truth through his eyes, not our own.  Once we become aware of what has been made available to us through Christ, we stop seeing life through fear of lack and begin seeing it through hopeful expectation and experience of God’s wonderful provision.

Where we would once see heart wrenching challenges, now we see opportunity (James 1:2-4).  Where we once felt rejection and hostility, now we can experience joy and acceptance (1 Peter 4:12-16).  The bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:12 that one of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to show us what we have been FREELY GIVEN in Christ.  We already have access but because of our perspective we may not be seeing it!

As you think in your heart, so you are.

If we fail to see and hear and remember what God has said and done, we will have difficulty producing lives that reflect his goodness to us.  If we fail to see that we are loved, we will think, see and feel through an unloved perspective even though the fact is that we are God’s beloved children! If we fail to see that we are redeemed and forgiven, we will feel guilty!  Proverbs 23:7 says that

‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’

 This means that what you believe about yourself is directly tied to the fruit you will produce!  What you believe is what you will experience in your life.  When we don’t see and believe the truth about who we are in Christ, we consequently believe the opposite and produce the fruit in our lives related to that view.

This week, ask Holy Spirit to help you tune your spiritual eyes and ears to what Jesus is saying.  Ask him for insight into Scripture.  Ask him for further revelation in the knowledge of God.  I think that the Holy Spirit gets very excited when we start asking him such things.  It’s his absolute pleasure to reveal Jesus to us.  It’s his passion to give us the Kingdom our Father wants us to inherit.

"But... I can't change"

You may be thinking, “But Daniel, I could never change how I view my life.  It’s too hard.  Too much has happened.  I’ve been hurt too many times.”  If that’s you, then I’ve got good news for you.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says,

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” [emphasis mine]

This verse means that when we focus on, relate with, contemplate and spend time with God (and consequently not on ourselves and our lack/weakness), we are actually TRANSFORMED into the same image of God himself by God himself!  Let that freak you out for a second!  Does God struggle with fear or hate or anger or lack or ‘insert random weakness here’?  Nope.  Then this verse tells us that neither do we have to suffer the effects of an un-renewed mind.  

When we see God's glory, we become like him.

God thinks perfectly.  He sees perfectly.  Our Father operates in pure peace, love, joy and righteousness. We get to enjoy relationship with God, focusing on him and how amazing he is, and then HIS SPIRIT transforms us to look like Him.  That’s some yummy truth.  A tasty dose of gospel goodness right there, folks.

“You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

We have a right as Christians to the perspective of Jesus.

 We have a right to view life from the throne and bear the fruit of such thought.  Don’t let the devil steal what is yours.  Don’t let the enemy or life or circumstances or even yourself blind you to the truth about what Jesus has done.  The Cross is the most significant, amazing, life altering thing that has ever happened to humanity.  Gain perspective through relationship with Father; see, hear, remember.