And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 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?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." Mark 8:22-26
This is an extremely unique miracle of Jesus, one that occurs only in Mark’s Gospel. Sure, some of the elements look familiar, in fact, look a lot like what we saw in Mark 7:31-37 when Jesus healed the deaf man.
In both cases:
- the afflicted was brought to Jesus
- they begged Jesus to heal the afflicted
- Jesus pulled the afflicted aside privately
- Jesus incorporated spitting into the healing
- the afflicted was healed
- Jesus told the newly healed person to keep it quiet
But something unusual happens with the blind man. Again, something that only happens here, in all of what is written about Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John - this is the ONLY time this happens - the man was healed in 2 stages!
The first time Jesus touched the man, Jesus asked him if he saw anything. The man saw something that looked like moving trees. Obviously, he saw people - just really out of focus. Then Jesus touched him again, and this time his sight was 20/20.
Jesus never asked questions of the people He healed, so why here? Why bring attention to this? Jesus obviously wanted the disciples to know what He was up to. What is it?
Last Sunday, we looked at the previous passage where Jesus warned the disciples to watch out for the “leaven” of the Pharisees and Herod. Upon their misunderstanding of Jesus’ point, Jesus rebukes them, verses 17-21, for being hard hearted, spiritually blind and deaf, and having a short memory.
The point was: the disciples saw some things, but they didn’t really see them clearly.
You and I can be just like that. We see God at work, watch Him provide, heal, restore - and we don’t see things clearly. We still are tempted to doubt and lose heart at the very next trial that comes. So how do we go from being spiritually blind, to having some sight, to being able to see the things of God clearly?
The same way this man physically went from blind --> having some sight --> seeing clearly. It’s only through repeated contact with Jesus.
You want spiritual eyes to see God at work? The more you are around Jesus, the clearer you will see.
p.s. - longs for clearer and clearer vision...