i was reading Mark's account of this today and had a few thoughts. First, it follows...
1. the feeding of the four thousand
2. the Pharisees asking for a sign
3. Jesus' warning about the yeast of the Pharisees
4. The disciples thinking he's talking about bread
5. Jesus asking if they were still so dense?
6. The healing by degrees of a blind man, when he first sees he says, "I see men walking around like trees."
7. Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ
8. Peter's rebuke of Jesus
9. Jesus' rebuke of the disciples, that they have in mind the things of men, not the things of God
10. Jesus imploring his people to take up their crosses and follow him
My thoughts about this started with an old sermon i heard by Pastor Alan Lee. Jesus heals the blind man by degrees. It's like his first attempt doesn't quite take. Not so. Jesus was not lacking in power. He was making a point. The blind man sees men walking around like trees. Who would have been around him? Jesus had taken him out of the village. So probably only those who follow Jesus, the disciples. Trees. Woodenheads. Stiff. And surely this may be what he meant.
But when i got to the part about carrying the cross i thought... what if we all did this? i mean literally. If we the church were carrying our crosses, and following Jesus into death and sacrifice and obedience, we would look like a forest on the move! Trees walking!