The Blind Man of Bethsaida


Mark 8: 22-26
Jas 7:19-27 / Psa 15

He opened his eyes, his sight was restored, he saw everything clearly.
(Mark 8:25)

Thank You Lord, for setting us free
From our sins that rendered us blind.
Your Word, O God has made us see,
What the faithless can never find.

When Jesus and His apostles returned to Bethsaida, some people brought to Him a blind man and entreated Him to touch him. Instead, Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Putting spittle on his eyes, He laid His hands on him, and 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 could see everything distinctly. Then He sent him home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.” (Mark 8:22-26)

Reflection

Wherever Jesus went, people would request Him to do something for them. In many occasions, it seemed as if they only wanted to see a spectacle, either for their own amusement, or for affirmation that Jesus the Nazarene was indeed a wonder worker that they had been hearing about. Our Lord did not want to be regarded as some kind of a celebrity, and even less as a political leader who could promise victory over the occupying forces of Rome by employing His supernatural powers. He had a far greater mission to accomplish during His short life on earth. Earlier, in another place that they had just left, Pharisees had asked Him for a sign, which He refused to give because of their hardness of heart. Leaving that place by boat, He also rebuked His apostles for their lack of faith, worrying about food after Jesus had just shown them that He could easily feed thousands from a few pieces of bread and fish. (8:17-21)

The blind man they brought to Jesus did not show any interest in being healed. Jesus healed him anyway. But unlike the other times when He also healed two blind men, Jesus took the trouble to lead this one outside the village. Out of sight of the crowd, He gave him back his sight. But what was His purpose for 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 upright 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 in the process of growing. They still could not ‘see’ clearly because of their weak faith, even after they had witnessed a number of miracles beforehand.

Our God is a very personal God. He does not want us to treat Him like a spiritual vending machine that dispenses miracles according to the amount of prayers we send. Instead, He wants to lead us to a quiet place where we can personally experience His healing power – not merely on our physical ailments, but especially on our spiritual brokenness. He wants to restore us to our former wholesome relationship with Him. Now we have realized how blind we once were in our faith, but because of His Word and the touch of His Holy Spirit, our vision of life has become clearer and lucid. Now we can see all things clearly, not just “seeing men like trees walking”, but with a divine perspective to see God walking in all men.

Lord, help us to see the more essential things in life that we should be striving to attain: loving relationships, peace of mind for meditating on Your Word, and a forgiving heart. For these are what draw us closer to You. Amen.

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