What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus knew that his calling involved suffering.
- We are also called to suffer—to die daily to ourselves and follow Jesus.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus waited until the disciples knew who he was—the Christ, God’s only chosen King—before explaining what that meant for his mission—suffering and death—and for his followers—daily dying to self.
- We must first grapple with who Jesus is, and help others to do so, and allow that reality to change our lives, rather than beginning with behavior modification.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
The healing of the blind man is interesting. The only one, I think, that occurs in stages. After Jesus’first touch, he sees people “like trees walking around.” Second time, he sees clearly. A lesson on a different way that God might heal? But also, perhaps, a parable about the 12 disciples. Verse 21…they still didn’t understand. And, beginning in 8, Jesus will have three teachings on his impending death (8:31, 9:31 and 10:33). All of them followed by disciples not understanding and then Jesus teaching on discipleship. In other words, gradual understanding coming. I am encouraged to know that Jesus continues to reveal himself to me, patiently.
The discipleship teachings of 34 ff. are powerful. What does it mean to deny myself and take up my cross today? How do I say NO! to me! Lord help me to see it.