“They (Jesus and the Disciples) came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He (Jesus) 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 (the man) 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. Jesus sent him home saying, “Don’t go into the village.” Mark 8:22-26
Did you notice? The blind man does not ask for healing. It was his friends who asked Jesus to restore the man’s sight. Actually, they begged for such! Jesus cares for those whom we care about. We can have confidence when we pray, asking God to intervene on a beloved friend or family’s need. Jesus hears the requests of sincere hearts. Did the man know Jesus? Did he have faith? The answer appears to be no on both questions. Jesus does not heal the man immediately. Instead, Jesus led the man by the hand to the outside of the village. Perhaps he led the man to a more quiet place to begin the process of building a relationship, which would lead to faith in the one who is about to perform a great miracle in this man’s life.
Once outside the gates, Jesus placed his saliva on the man’s eyes and touched him. How long the man waited is not known. Was it immediately, a short-while or longer? Jesus asks the man, “What do you see?” Notice he did not ask, “Can you see?”, but, “What do you see?” The word what indicates there is an expectation complete healing will take place. Jesus instills hope in the man that he will see once again. It’s just a matter of the right timing. The man replies, “He sees people who look like trees walking around”. Here, we learn the man was not blind from birth. Had he been so he would have no idea what people or trees might look like. How he became blind we are not told. Nor are we told how long he’s been blind.
Jesus, once again places his hands on the man’s eyes and the man’s sight is completely restored. The man sees everything clearly. Jesus sends him home with directions not to go into the village (indicating the man did not live in the village). Jesus often asked people following a healing to not share about what happened. Jesus’ performed miracles not for the public eye, but for the inner spirit of the person for whom the healings were taking place.
The man’s journey, of faith in Jesus, begins when he allows his friends to take him to a virtual stranger and ask for healing. The story implies the man did not know Jesus and had been blind for some time. I suspect he believed he would never see again. Faith is birthed when we are willing to believe even though filled with doubts. The blind man was willing.
As we grow in faith, we grow in trust. The blind man allows this man called, Jesus, a proverbial stranger to lead him outside the city gates. You will notice his friends are not mentioned again, indicating they are not around. I wonder what Jesus and the blind man chatted about while walking to the outer gate? I suspect a relationship began as the blind man shared his story of lost sight and Jesus shared his heart for people, his life and purpose for living with the blind man.
Jesus has taken the man step-by-step to this moment. First the man is introduced to Jesus. Jesus then leads the blind man away from the populated village, outside the gates; teaching the man Jesus is trustworthy. When healing did not take place instantly, the man learns not to let circumstances cloud his belief. Jesus is faithful to his word no matter how circumstances might appear.
Jesus touches the man, once again, and the man’s sight is restored completely. The words, “and he saw everything clearly” have a two-fold meaning. First the man’s eyesight gets restored completely! Yea God! Secondly, the man now sees clearly the relationship between God, Jesus and himself. Isn’t this how Jesus interacts with us today? We come to know and have faith in the person called Jesus in steps. Sometimes God uses friends of faith to introduce us to Jesus. Other times he uses circumstances to draw us to him. Sometimes he uses both. No matter, what or how he reveals himself it’s always a sight revealing, life changing moment.
This is the only record of a healing happening in steps. All other recorded healings happened on the spot. Each recorded healing has been different in some way. Could Jesus heal the same way each time? I suspect he could. The joy is discovering the key to why each healing is different. What is the golden nugget we can learn about the very nature and character of Jesus? One thing I know for sure, there is no magical formula for healing. God heals who, what, when, where and how he chooses. And, he does it out of love and compassion.
Sorry for the delay in our series titled “Healing Monday’s”. Life has thrown me a few curve balls in which I too, could use a healing touch from Jesus’ hand. Taking it one day at a time.
Until next time,