It is the only time Jesus’ healing didn’t work instantaneously! A blind man was brought to him. He spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him (Mark 8:22-23). Jesus asked him, “Do you see anything?” The man replied, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking” (vs. 24). A second hands laying on the eyes resulted in his sight fully restored..
So what happened? Why the 2-step process? Is there something in the man’s faith; in Jesus’ power? Is the unbelief so rampant that it reduced the potency of the cure? The answer lies in Mark 8 itself. The whole chapter is about the pervasiveness of spiritual blindness. They were blind to who Jesus was and what it meant to their lives. Jesus is using this two-stage miracle to teach his disciples about the process of spiritual eyes being opened. Peter is giving his eye witness account to Mark, the author of the Gospel. And he seems to hear Jesus saying, “My work in developing the man’s sight is a picture of what I am doing with your own”.
This story teaches us three things about our spiritual sight.
We are all spiritually blind
Jesus asks a question in verse 27 that no other religious leader asks His followers. “Who do people say I am? Who do you say I am?” This is a strange question. One might reply, “You are a conduit of information, my Teacher! “ Mohammed, Confucious, Moses never said, “Who do people say I am?” They might ask, “Do you understand what I am saying to you?” It is what teachers, prophets, leaders are concerned about. But, for Jesus, the ultimate issue was not if you grasped His principles. He did not come to offer a religion. He came to offer Himself. He came to be in relationship with you. You can only have a relationship if the person is known to you. Jesus did not even come to bring you life. He came to be your life. So, we must see Him as He is. Our rescuer, our strength, our life.
Jesus can heal our blindness
Jesus did that for this man’s physical blindness. But, the chapter argues that His concern is much deeper. He is opening eyes to who He is, and how central that reality is to their lives. The more they know Him, the more they will trust Him, and the more their lives will experience life as it is designed to be lived. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness. But, will have the light of life” (John 8:12)
We are often between touches
If you have embraced Jesus as Savior and Lord, He has healed your ultimate spiritual blindness. But, like the blind man, and like the disciples, you have seasons where life is murky and confusing. Some of you are caught between touches. You know God. Jesus is your life. But, your way is dark, foreboding, and unclear. You need another touch.
CS Lewis, in his late 50s finally found and married his true love. But, four years later, Joy died, after an agonizing battle with cancer. During a season of intense grieving, Lewis filled four notebooks – first with words of anguish and rage, then with an introspective record of the changes that this loss worked in his life and character. The notebooks were published one year after Joy’s death as, A Grief Observed, at first under a pseudonym.
It is hard to be between touches. But, God gives vision and clarity to us in the second touch. The most precious vision will be about God Himself, the one who is our life. As Lewis stated in his book, “I learned to want, not my idea of God, but God”. God is at work, even when you are between touches. He does not waste experiences. Greater sight, greater clarity will come.