Pursuing the Knowledge of Christ Jesus With All Our Might
Translated by Allan Liang
Mark 8:22-26 The coronavirus is this severe: many countries have been ravaged, millions have been infected, even scientists cannot fathom its source of emergence and means of spreading, and are far from combating the virus. High ranking officials have too been infected, even dictators cannot extend their tyranny to the virus - the minuteness of man and his fear of the virus is made fully manifest. Even so, many people still remain in folly and pride, they do not understand God and do not see the work of God’s hand because their spiritual eyes have been blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). Many Christians have divided hearts in the face of such a pervasive virus. They like Peter, fear the howling winds and raging waters so that their hearts are entirely drawn to such things (Mathew 14:30). They see only the virus yet fail to see the sovereignty of God. We must, through all things, more deeply understand God and understand Jesus and his glory. I recently read John Piper’s “Coronavirus and Christ”. Piper continued his long-standing style of leading the reader to the glory of God, even in difficult times as this season of the coronavirus. How can we as Piper, through trials and sufferings, see the glory of God? Let us answer the question through today's Scripture? In this passage of Scripture, Jesus performed the miracle of healing a blind person. However, what confuses many is that this miracle is divided into two steps. After the first healing, the person could see, but only vaguely. After the second healing, he could see clearly. Is this because Jesus lacked power? Is it because Jesus was fatigued, performed too many miracles earlier and used up all his power? Of course not. The power of the Holy Spirit in him is without limit (John 3:34). Then, why did Jesus heal the man in two steps? The answer is hidden in the context. Jesus healed the man in this manner in order to tell the disciples that they too were like the blind man, unable to initially see clearly who He was, but gradually seeing more clearly. In the previous passage of scripture, Jesus rebuked his disciples, “Do you have eyes but fail to see?” (Mark 8:18) The disciples followed Jesus because they believed that he was the Christ, the Son of God, but their understanding of him was muddled, otherwise they would not have feared hunger after forgetting to bring bread. If we look at the next passage of Scripture, it appears as if the eyes of Peter are opened, confessing resolutely that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Eternal God. Jesus split the miracle of healing the blind man into two parts, so that he could “perform” (rather than speak) the following parable to his disciples: you were once like this blind man, and your understanding of me will become clear, but with time; but take heart, just as I personally led this blind man and gradually with patience, opened his eyes, so will I nurture and lead you step by step so that you may know me with greater clarity. If we want to, through the material world visible to our eyes, understand the spiritual realm that is not visible, we must first come to the presence of Jesus, and know him as our Lord and Savior, our God. Only Jesus can heal the blindness of our spiritual eyes. Coming to Jesus and believing him is the first step, afterwards we must continually and unceasingly pursue Jesus, and beg him to further open our eyes (Ephesians 1:17-18). May Christ help us, through the revelations of the Bible, interpret the things around us. Just as Piper, through the virus, sees God’s sovereignty, grace, mercy, and goodness, as well as His call to repentance, let us too see such things. There will come a day when we will see Jesus face to face - then our eyes will be fully opened and we will completely know Jesus, and see clearly his will in the world (1 Corinthians 13:12). Let us hold on to this hope, the hope of being able to see Jesus clearer and clearer each day, and one day see him face to face, and through the Bible and everything that we do, pursue the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Please pray and meditate: How can you know Jesus? Has the coronavirus enabled you to more clearly know Jesus? How has knowing Jesus changed your life?