Jesus Has Many More Eye-Opening Truths to Teach You

A lesson from Bethsaida shows us how far we have to go.

Many people have never lived a day without knowing the name of Jesus. They grew up with the hymns and knowing the gospels. Others have taken their knowledge of the Savior further through intensive study, Bible school, or even seminary.

A Bethsaida Lesson—Jesus Wants to Teach You Much More

(Photo: The Plain of Bethsaida. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Although many years of knowing Christ often carry with them the danger of familiarity—i.e. complacency—not everyone falls prey to the threat. There is, in fact, another danger.

All of Jesus’ disciples grew up knowing their Bibles. They lived in anticipation of the Messiah. And finally, they had found Him.

  • By the time Jesus brought His disciples to Bethsaida that day, they had followed Him for more than two years.
  • They carried with them the admiration of the crowds.
  • They were leaders, promised by Christ to reign with Him.

What else was there to gain? They had gone as high as they could. Many of us might slip into the same error of thinking.

For the faithful follower of Jesus, there is another danger beyond complacency.

Back to Bethsaida

This wasn’t the first time Jesus took the disciples to Bethsaida. He had performed a miracle thereabouts by multiplying the fish and loaves for thousands to eat. As Jesus and His men approached the area where this miracle had occurred, Jesus asked them a question:

Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? — Mark 8:17-18

Notice how Jesus linked physical sight with understanding?

This should have been a clue when someone brought a blind man to Jesus at Bethsaida. The Lord healed the man—but not all at once (Mark 8:22-26).

Bethsaida houses of fisherman and vinegrower

(Photo: Bethsaida houses of fisherman and vinegrower. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Strange, but why did Jesus heal the blind man in stages?

  • Was Jesus having an off day?
  • Was the blind man a difficult case?
  • Was Jesus losing His power?

No. None of these. The answer lies in the questions Jesus had asked the disciples right before the miracle. Here they are again:

Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? — Mark 8:17-18

Jesus’ intended His healing of the blind man to open the eyes of the disciples. Jesus gave sight to the blind man in stages to teach His disciples that their understanding would come in stages.

It’s the same with us.

I Can See Clearly Now

Immediately after the lesson at Bethsaida, Jesus took the twelve north to Caesarea Philippi where He took their understanding of Him to a new level.

  • In Jesus’ well-known conversation with His disciples, He asked them who they thought He was.
  • Peter spoke for the group when He answered, “You are the Christ.”
  • Jesus took their understanding of the Christ to a new level when He revealed that He would die in Jerusalem and then rise again.
Caesarea Philippi

(Photo: Caesarea Philippi. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Just as the blind man saw in stages, and as the disciples learned about Jesus in stages, so you and I have much to learn about the one to whom we have trusted our eternal destiny.

A God who is infinite has to reveal Himself in ways we can understand.

A Danger of Knowing Jesus

For those of us who have known Jesus all our lives—those who know a lot about Jesus—Peter’s response shows us a danger. After Jesus revealed more about Himself (namely, that He would die), Peter again spoke for the group and replied, “No, Lord, this will never happen to you!”

Jesus responded to Peter with words we also should consider:

You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s. — Mark 8:33

We limit our understanding of Jesus when we require Him to act within the limitations of our understanding. When God allows struggles in your life—they have not come to torment you but to teach you. The hard time you’re going through may be the only way God can give you a fuller understanding of who He is.

To deepen your understanding of Jesus, set your mind on God’s interests above your own.

After all, aren’t God’s interests are always in our best interests?

Tell me what you think: How has God used difficulties to teach you about Him? To leave a comment, just click here.

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  • Camille

    When struggles come, I have learned that God is my source. He does use people to help us but he alone can provide the solutions. He is an ever present help in time of trouble.

    • mikerrr

      not true

    • I couldn’t agree more, Camille. People have their place, to be sure, but only God fills our deepest needs and longings. Everything else is cotton candy. Thanks.

  • Deb Bear

    Love your quote on the more you get to know God (Christ) the more you don’t know. Even though I have been a Christian for many years,I have much to learn.. To walk in faith never doubting is much easier to say than do ,when God is taking me down a path that I feel like I’m blindfolded. This I know that if I hold on to my Lords hand ,I will after awhile be able to see with clear eyes!!

    • Yes, Deb, I know where you’re coming from. But that’s what faith is all about, isn’t it? Walking by faith and not by sight. Thanks and God bless.

  • mikerrr

    sorry Wayne, I read your things when I can, but I am not up to it sometimes. When discouragement becomes something else – something that makes you constantly disgusted and deeply sad. Why should it mstter. God is too busy building up the wicked, letting the worst people have theirvway and step on the powerless. Thevwidow is forgotten, the orphans starve or are blown to bits, the evil pols go untouched, the Christian is burdened beyond his understanding and beaten down every day. Thats the world Jesus forces me to be a nobody in and demands I be content with

    • Nish

      Dear mikerrr,
      I understand that you must have gone through very situations and you have developped quite a negative opinion about God. Behind every situation, rejection or anything that challenges you God also gave u the strength to face. He gives u only that much u can bear. He wants u to realise that u can find strength in him for ur still walking despite ur sufferings. And also he wants u to trust him and let him guide u instead of trying to take control on the situation. The world is a constant battle between the evil and the good. Choose to trust, sing the glory of God he wont let u down. Am telling u all this coz once i was in the same situation and one day Jesus came into my life like a miracle and since that day i am complete. I exist only in his presence. Without him i dnt see why i should live. He taught me that wven if am lonely on this earth on a materialistic level. Am complete. Joyful and happy in him. You just need to let go of resistance or whatever that keeps u away from him. Surrender in him. He knows how to comfort you.

    • It can seem discouraging at times, Mike, for sure. I urge you to get involved in a Bible-teaching church. When we get by ourselves with no other perspective but our own, despair and cynicism kick in.

  • mikerrr

    God can have his kingdom. If life had taught me anything, its that I DONT want to spend eternity with someone who treats me like this


    I didn’t know that before i read this article,i was thinking that God mad,angry and wants to punish me only,but now know that he is with me and wants to teach me.

    • There’s even better news than that. The most important thing God wants you to know is that He loves you so much that He gave His only Son to die (and rise again) for your sins—sins that would otherwise separate you from God forever. By simply trusting in Jesus, that His death paid for your sins, you are forgiven.

  • wft2969

    Wayne – thanks for this information. I know struggles are a part of life which He allows. Would you consider besetting sins as “struggles”?

    • What we call struggles can seem subjective, of course. But yes–absolutely. Anything we war against is a struggle. The good news? No sin need dominate our lives. God provides a way of escape from every temptation if we’ll look for it and (more importantly) take it. The bottom line is that we choose. Thanks.