Mark: According to
Two Stages of Sight
22 “Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.”
This is the second instances in which someone was brought to Jesus to be healed when the person to be healed had apparently not requested to be brought. The first time was Mark 7:31-37 which we explored in Part 37 of our series.
So, why is it that twice, there are people brought to Jesus that appear to have no desire to be healed? Well the answer is complicated and yet simple at the same time. As we have seen throughout the Gospel of Mark, faith or the lack of faith is one of the central themes throughout the book of Mark. One of the things that kept the Jews from accepting Jesus was their lack of faith that he could be the promised Messiah. They were expecting something and someone different. Consequently, their faith was tested.
But there were those that had heard Jesus, or knew of Jesus yet failed to believe for themselves that Jesus was able to perform these many miracles or expound upon the truths of the scripture as he did that far surpassed the understanding of the Pharisees and other religious leaders.
So, we have the story we read in Part 37 and now this story of a blind man that was brought to Jesus to be healed. Brought to Jesus by his friends. Strangely this is the only instance that I have found in which a miracle was a two-part miracle. Let’s read it together. 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.”
At that time in the ancient near east, there was a belief that there were healing properties in using spit and applying it to a sore or other infirmity. Perhaps you like myself cannot fathom such a practice, but maybe there is something to it. Jesus spit and then placed it upon the eyes of the blind man and then asked him what he saw.
24 And he looked up and said, I see men like trees, walking.”
The Bible does not indicate if the man was disappointed at the results, but because it does not say, I am going to take the opposite approach believing that some sight is better than no sight at all. For this man was brought to Jesus by his friends, with no mention of the man wanting to be healed, nor does it say that the man had any faith that he could be. But because of the miracle that had happened the man’s faith began to grow and because he now exercised his faith, Jesus then put His hand on his eyes again and made him look up.
As it says in verse twenty-five and he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
There are times in our lives in which all heaven is wanting to perform a miracle in our lives, but our lack of faith or the small measure that we do have is not strong enough to believe the miracle can be performed. But in the small things heaven is able to do for us, our faith should grow stronger and stronger, until we cannot contain ourselves any longer because of the wonderful things he has done for us.
Then why would Mark include the next verse in this passage? 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
Jesus was afraid that once again the people would wish to make Him their king and thus put in jeopardy the rest of His ministry. He was also seeking to avoid another encounter with the Pharisees and other religious leaders, but he also sought rest and some time to spend with just the disciples, who desperately needed to hear the words and hopefully begin to understand Jesus mission.