My, Devotion to Him #13
VERSE PASSAGE: Mark 8:22-25 “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” – NIV
1. This healing is recorded only in the gospel of Mark.
2. This is the only two-stage healing to be recorded or seemingly to have taken place.
3. This is the only time in which Jesus would actually ever spit on someone.
Okay, now when I read this I admit I was taken back by this whole passage. I wondered why in the world did Jesus not heal this man instantly? Why did it take two times to heal him? Some might say that His power was low on energy that day. No! That is not the case here. Never ever was there case or ever will be case because of that. But the question remained. Why did it take Jesus two times to heal this man?
From this text we can not know why this happened. However, it is suggested when in doubt look at the passage before and after.
Let’s break this down. If we go back to the beginning of Mark chapter 8, we read the miracle of the feeding of the 4000. Right after that the Pharisees came to argue with him. After that Jesus and the disciples got into a boat, he warned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Leaven is another word for the yeast necessary for baking bread, but in this case it refers to the false teaching of the Pharisees.But the disciples thought he was talking about literal bread(earthly ears. When will we ever learn to hear with our spiritual ears the things of Christ.) Jesus then rebuked the disciples by saying, “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”.
Let’s paraphrase. “How can you be so blind after having been with me so long? Don’t you understand anything I’m saying?”
Growing up there was a lot of times in which my parents would tell me to do something and how to do it. Yet I would do it wrong. Sometimes I was asked “didn’t you hear what I said? Did you forget what I said to do and how to do it?” Of course I had to answer yes or no. I would say yes though sometimes I never remembered how to do it. Now this was being said to the disciples. Jesus was talking yet, they were not fully listening. They heard but did not understand because focus is a skill is which many people tend to not use quite that often. If they had focused on listening to what was being said they would’ve understood it.
You can’t separate this miracle from its context because the miracle is like a parable of the disciples’ spiritual confusion. It is possible to have eyes and yet not see very clearly. And that’s precisely what Jesus was saying to his disciples. “Do you have eyes and yet not see what I am saying?” “Do you have eyes and yet not see clearly who I am?” Cloudy spiritual vision afflicts every Christian to some degree. None of us sees as clearly as we would like to. That’s what this blind man experienced. When he was partially healed, he saw men as trees walking. No one sees life with perfect clarity. All of us have spiritual nearsightedness to one degree or another.
This is evident from a study of the miracles of Christ. He has the power to heal instantly or in stages. He is not limited by anything or anyone, yet he does not treat us all the same. He heals one with a touch, another with a word, another with a glance, and yet another at a great distance. He touches one and never sees the other, and yet both are healed.
Many people struggle with this concept because they think that because God did something for a friend or a neighbor or a loved one, then God must be bound to do the same thing for them. But it doesn’t work that way. God can deliver your neighbor from cancer and you may die of cancer. Or vice versa. Envying your neighbor because he has something you don’t have is a waste of time because God treats us as individuals, not as groups. The truth is, he might do for you exactly what he’s done for someone else, or he might do more or he might do less or he might do something entirely different. He’s God. He can deal with us the way he wants.
Everyone who has prayed very much understands this truth. One night we fish and catch nothing. The next day our nets are filled to breaking. I may be in prison one night and an angel may come to set me free. Or God may send an earthquake to deliver me. Or I may die in prison as many Christians have over the years. A loved one with a dread disease may be spared by God for several years, only to die from that disease eventually. One day I may sense God’s Spirit working powerfully in my life. Another day I may plod through the doldrums. So it goes for all of God’s children. Our God is infinitely creative in the way he deals with us as he brings us to spiritual maturity. There are brigh days and dark nights, and both are from the Lord.
What finally saved this poor man was his honesty. He didn’t lie to Jesus. That’s a crucial insight. He could have said, “Lord, I see all things clearly.” If he had said that, he would never have gotten better. His honesty gave him the sight he did not have.
I understand how hard it is to be honest with God. How difficult to admit our weakness. Something to also take note on is Christ didn’t ask this man, “Can you see anything?” in order to get information he didn’t have. Jesus knew the answer to the question. He wanted the man to be honest about his true condition. We must come to the Lord just as we are, and when we do, he takes us as we are, but he never leaves us that way. That’s why the invitation of Jesus is always very personal. Come unto me! Cast yourself upon the Lord and he will not turn you away.
Remember, this man was saved by his honesty! Are you willing to be honest about your own condition?