There is a weird healing in Mark 8. Jesus heals a blind man, but does it in two tries. The first try isn’t enough:
Mark 8:23-25 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”
(24) And he looked up and said, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.” (25) Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Right after that Jesus asks about the various ways in which people ‘see’ Jesus. Maybe he is this or that… but Peter says Jesus is the Messiah. Good, he sees Jesus correctly; well, sort of.
Jesus goes on to say more about what the Messiah (Christ) does and it freaks Peter out so much that Peter corrects Jesus (whom he just declared was the Messiah). Jesus famously rebukes Peter for being Satanic and helps the disciples to see life with a little more clarity:
Mark 8:34-9:1 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (35) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (36) For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (37) For what can a man give in return for his soul? (38) For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (9:1) And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
The deal is not comfortable. We kinda see Jesus as our good hope, but honestly, it is all a bit murky. Then, when we get direct challenges that call us to sacrifice (pain, loss, etc.) we really get uncomfortable. To top it all, Jesus gives a confrontational warning: your soul’s security is linked to how you deal with the counter-cultural call to be loyal to him.
Gratefully the warning is followed with and assurance that some will see clearly. Unfortunately, we aren’t told directly if we are one of those.
So, will we see clearly? Is our initial vision of Jesus too murky? When we do hear the challenge to abandon the ship we are on and give all, truly all, to Jesus, what will we do?