Blind Test

Mark 8:22-26

 

“What do you see?” he asked me.

It was a simple question:


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11421
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That’s why I love poetry - it always helps me see things in a new light. Thank you!

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I think we need to look at the restoration of the man’s sight, the subject of the poem, in a somewhat different way.

In the gospel of Mark, before the healing on which the article is based, Jesus performed many miracles of healing including: ordering unclean spirits to leave people, healing ‘many who were sick’, cleansing a leper, healing a paralytic, restoring a man’s withered hand and a deaf mute to perfect health. Even a touch of His garment healed a bleeding woman.
He had raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, so restoring someone’s eyesight would have been no problem for our Lord.

Thus, I hope we can put to rest any idea that this was some test of our Lord’s powers which were barely up to the task and thus required a second attempt.

So, what are we to take from this story? I believe there are a couple of lessons for us. The man was from the town of Bethsaida. Jesus actually led him out of town before restoring his sight. Why would He feel it important to do that?
In Matt 11:21 Jesus said, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you.”
So, Bethsaida was a town of little, if any faith. It was incumbent on the blind man to leave such a place before healing. Christ sensed the man needed to travel to a place clear of the naysayers to increase his faith prior to his healing. Can we also be ensconced in a community or communion of little faith and be required to leave before the Lord chooses to act mightily on our behalf?

But why did Jesus apply His hands to the man’s eyes twice? I believe the story is prophetic and foreshadows the necessity for Jesus to come twice to fully reveal and complete His plan.
The first application of the hands of Jesus included spittle which reminds us He came the first time as the Son of Man, a human being. It resulted in partial sight for the man. He said the people looked like walking trees. Paul said “For now we see as through a glass, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as I also am known” (i.e., when Jesus, ‘that which is perfect’ comes the second time).
The Venerable Bede wrote, “by this miracle, Christ teaches us how great is the spiritual blindness of man, which only by degrees, and by successive stages, can come to the light of Divine knowledge".

We can certainly ask God to show us more of His ultimate plan for humanity now, but we will only obtain the clearest picture after His second coming.

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