My Life Net Group has been doing a study of Mark over WhatsApp, so I've not been doing my SOAP studies, so I thought I'd share what we've discussed so far instead.
8:1-21 Jesus repeated the multiple feeding sign, and in between the two incidents, he walked on water… yet when he spoke of “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod!” the disciples thought it was about having no bread. Jesus was more concerned about what they had in their hearts than bread.
Sometimes we can be “too heavenly minded till we’re no earthly good” but more often it’s the other way around. I tend to be very rational and practical, but I need to balance that with the fact that we have a miracle-working God, who is more interested in our spiritual well-being.
8:22-24 Why did this man need 2 healings? I’m guessing that the first healing was for his physical eyes, while the 2nd healing was for the brain programming.
Neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote about a man named Virgil who was blind since he was 5, but at 50, they managed to restore his sight. But “The house and its contents were unintelligible to him, and he had to be led up the garden path, led through the house, led into each room, and introduced to each chair.”
Another case of a teenaged boy is related by Dr. Pawan Sinha, a professor of vision and computational neuroscience at M.I.T. When the boy’s bandages are removed after his eye surgery which gave him sight for the first time, “The boy sits still and blinks silently, the room around him reflecting in his eyes as a kind of proof of their new transparency. Sinha believes these first moments for the newly sighted are blurry, incoherent, and saturated by brightness—like walking into daylight with dilated pupils—and swirls of colors that do not make sense as shapes or faces or any kind of object.”
So, modern eye surgery shows what the 1st century author of the Gospel according to Mark could not have known -- hence adding to the body of evidence that this was a true account of a true miracle.
8:27-33 Peter realizes that Jesus is the Messiah, but Jesus tells them not to reveal it to the world. Why? Because he needs to first die for our sins. So he cannot be the political messianic king that the Jews wanted, and he would be misappropriated for if the Jews knew.
Matthew adds the detail that Jesus told Peter after his declaration, "You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven!”
So when Jesus declared that he was going to suffer and die, Peter took it upon himself to rebuke Jesus! But Jesus turned around and called Peter, this guy whom he had just affirmed received revelation from the Father in heaven, “Satan”! “You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”
We may be greatly gifted by God with Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, etc. but that doesn’t mean that everything we say or think is godly -- it can even be the devil’s plans!
So, if God gives us wonderful supernatural gifts, we must nonetheless be circumspect and pay attention to the Holy Spirit. So many great supernaturally gifted people in the past have fallen astray and started teaching an unbalanced Gospel because of that -- and aside from the internationally famous ones, I have met one here in Malaysia who has drastically negatively impacted the lives of many including some people I know and love.
Peter’s mistake didn’t invalidate that God indeed did give him a true word earlier. And his mistake also didn’t mean he was a goner now -- God indeed did take him through more failures and successes after this.
So, we, likewise, when we have had a high, don’t become proud. When we’ve had a low, don’t give up.