Recap of Mark 8:22-23: Jesus was filled with compassion when He encountered the blind man. He led the blind man outside the village. Once outside the village, Jesus put His hands on the blind mans eyes.
“Do you see anything?” Jesus asked after the blind man’s eyes opened. Jesus asked a question for which He knew the answer. So why did He ask?
Because He wanted the blind man to make his own assessment of his situation? Hmmm
The man must have squinted, blinked and strained. His dark, tired eyes must have looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around” (Mark 8:23-24). So, how did the blind dude know how to describe what he was seeing?! How did he know what a tree looked like in order to compare the image he was seeing of people with trees?
Perhaps, unlike the man in John 9 who was born blind, perhaps this blind man became blind.
Perhaps he had seen before.
Perhaps he played beneath olive trees when he was a boy.
Perhaps he rested beneath an oak, or studied the leaves of a fig tree as he picked its fruit.
Perhaps he had Retinitis Pigmentosa and up until he was a teen or a young man, he had seen clearly.
Perhaps he had adjusted slowly over the years to the looming shadows and the stripping away of his independence.
It some ways, it makes his loss more palpable. I can taste his hunger for healing. I bet his heart was racing. Mine would have been. Thinking about it, my heart starts to flutter. What would that have felt like?!
I would treasure even being able to perceive the smallest bit of light. I would not feel like I was settling if I saw “men as trees,’ I would celebrate it. It moves me and troubles me to imagine that opportunity.
But, evidently God doesn’t restore half-way, He restores completely.
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” (8:25).
Total healing; total healing that came in part one and part two.
I want to think of Jesus as the God of immediacy and thoroughness. A two-stage miracle is confusing. Sometimes I think I have an “all or nothing” approach to God and faith. He either heals or He doesn’t; He will or won’t. But this story reminds me He is not made in my image and His ways are just not my ways. He chooses to heal in the way He chooses to. He healed the blind man from Bethsaida with two touches even though one, or none, would have been enough. He could have only used one. He could have just used words and never lifted a hand.
So, why in two parts?
Maybe stage one, blurry and mixed with disappointment and hope was God’s way of showing mercy. Perhaps it would have been too shocking, physically and emotionally, to see fully all at once. God’s grace cushions us even to receive His blessings because they are so immense, without grace we couldn’t adequately embrace them. Perhaps he gives healing sometimes, whether physical or spiritual, in the form of slow revelation so we can absorb it. It deepens our relationship with Him; creates greater dependence. But, it requires patience and grace.
What about you? Are you content with slow revelation? Give me your opinion below. Leave a comment here.