September 29, 2005

Study of Mark: Mark 8:22-26

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 ESV)
There is an obvious question in this passage. Why did Christ have to make two 'attempts' to heal this man? Why didn't He heal him all at once, as He had before? I think that Christ did this to make a point.

In our natural state, we are blind, spiritually speaking. We can't see or truly understand spiritual matters. Even after we've been born again, we often do not see spiritual matters clearly. We must have the Holy Spirit in our lives, guiding us, and we must continue to follow the commands of Christ. When we do that, we mature spiritually.

John Gill explains it this way

This man, as before observed, was a very lively emblem of one that is spiritually enlightened by the grace of God: Christ first separated this man from the rest of the multitude; and such are first distinguished from others in election, and redemption, and calling, who are illuminated by the Spirit of God: means were made use of by Christ for healing this man; though the bare actions, without a divine power, would have been insufficient, as the spittle of his mouth, and the imposition of his hands: and, generally speaking, in the illumination of a sinner the word of Christ's mouth is a means; though this, without the efficacy of his grace, is not of itself sufficient.

I think that not enough is said of the people who brought this man to Christ. They had heard the rumors, and maybe people tried to discourage them. "It can't be true!" they'd say. "The stories cannot be true. He can't heal a blind man!" But they persevered. They brought their friend to Christ's presence, and knew that Jesus had the ability to heal his blindness. Are we such friends? Do we ignore the scoffers and critics to bring our friends and loved ones into the very presence of Christ? How can we not, when we know the result of a lifetime without Christ?

And finally, Christ instructs the man "Do not even enter the village." Go straight home to your family, don't make a spectacle of your healing. The people still are not ready for the full message of Christ, so He is not revealing Himself to them. Not even His disciples fully understand what the message of the Gospel is -- they can't, until the resurrection. So this is even an alegory of the disciples' lives up to that point -- they could see, but not clearly. That clarity of sight would only come to them when the Holy Spirit decended at Pentecost, when they received power to change the world.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 11:01 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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