The Text (Mark 8:22-26)
22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
Coming to another town, Jesus does yet another miracle. Remember that Mark’s gospel focuses on Jesus’ actions as much as His teachings. Mark wants us to see the power and authority of Jesus as the Son of God. This time, He restores sight to a desperate blind man. The man begs Jesus for help, and Jesus opens his eyes to see. Note that once again, Jesus chooses to heal the man by touching him; this shows the personal compassion and love of Christ for people. He then sends the man away telling him to stay quiet about the miracle. As before, this was probably to keep people from focusing on Jesus’ miracles instead of His identity and teachings. It also might mean smaller crowds and more freedom of movement in Jesus’ ministry.
It is also interesting that Jesus heals the man in two stages. The man gets partial sight first, and then full sight with a second touch. We should be careful not to interpret every Bible passage symbolically, but commentators are probably right that the two stages represent something spiritual in this situation. Remember that in the last passage, the disciples were struggling to believe that Jesus could again provide food for them. They were following Jesus, but did not yet fully grasp all that He was. But in tomorrow’s passage, we will see Peter’s famous confession on behalf of the other disciples that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God. Like the blind man’s physical sight, the disciples’ spiritual sight developed gradually as they spent time with Jesus. This is how it is with us today. People do not usually become Christians the first time they hear the gospel. It takes time for a person to wrestle with the truths of their sin and God’s grace before they finally come to a saving faith in Jesus. Be patient with friends and family who have not yet trusted in Jesus. People you love were patient with you! And even after we have become Christians, we will still continue to grow in spiritual sight. We will grow in our knowledge of Christ as we spend time with Him each day. Praying for God to help us see Him more today.