The Second Touch

Mark 8: 22-26
Gen 8: 6-13, 20-22 / Psa 116

Once more Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
(Mark 8:25)

Asking instant healing to appear
Doesn’t make our faith amount to much;
But if in prayers we persevere,
Our God will grant His “second touch.”

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 laid His hands on him, Jesus asked him, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus placed 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, “Do not even go into the village.” (Mark 8: 22-26)


It is only the Gospel of Mark that relates this miracle in our Lord’s life. And this appears to be the only miracle performed by Jesus that did not happen instantly. It seems our Lord had a purpose for this, and it was mainly for the benefit of His “blind” apostles. Earlier, Jesus had chastised them, saying, “Do you have eyes and not see…?” (Mark 8:18)

When they first arrived in Bethsaida, some people brought the blind man to Jesus, and “begged Him to touch him.” The crowd had heard about Jesus and only wanted to witness a miracle. We recall how Jesus felt about these people in Bethsaida: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!” (Mt.12:21) They had such little faith, and Jesus would not let them make a spectacle of the blind man’s healing. Instead, He led him out of the village, away from the crowd, and when he was healed, told him not to go back to the village. Jesus taught His apostles that His work of charity was not for show. But why the two-step, process of healing? One explanation could be that a gradual process of seeing for the first time was preferable than a sudden visual experience that could traumatize the once blind man. Seeing people around for the first time was for him like “seeing trees walking.” But more importantly, the reason Jesus used this gradual process of healing was to show His apostles that their faith was still a work in progress. They still could not ‘see’ clearly because of their weak faith, even after they had witnessed a number of miracles beforehand.

God is more interested in developing our faith than in healing our physical ailments. There may have been times when our prayers seemed to be falling on deaf ears, because what we were praying for was not granted. We had a friend who had cancer, and a big number of his friends and relatives stormed heaven with prayers for his healing. Our Rotary club where he was a member even held masses and vigils for him. But after two years, he finally succumbed to the big C. We realized then that our prayers must have prolonged his life; but more importantly, his sickness made us more prayerful, closer to each other, and closer to God. His suffering had not been in vain, because we had all become stronger in faith by it.

Father, help us to see beyond our temporal difficulties, for although we have faith in You, our vision still lacks clarity. Lead us closer to the light of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

One Response to “The Second Touch”

  1. NAOMI CHEBAI  on October 22nd, 2011