They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 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. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” Mark 8:22-25
People brought their friend to Jesus. Imagine if someone had never been able to see. Wouldn’t you want for them to be able to see the same beauties that you see? They would be able to function better, work better.
I truly do feel that so many of the people in the world are blind to the beauties of God and Christ, and following him. I feel like I have something of infinite worth, something so amazing. Being with God expands my heart. The more I know Him, the better it is. It’s like the best of music, art and nature all wrapped up together. It’s inspiration that soars and renews every day.
I want so much to somehow open people’s eyes to what Christianity is all about, not just the perfunctory bit of religion they experience. I think the burden is on me, and I do have it burning in my heart to tell people more somehow, instead of letting them have their space.
But maybe I need to apply this burning desire to BEGGING Jesus to touch them. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them,” Jesus said in John 6:44. Let me groan and plead, even shed tears, for Jesus to enable people to see! It’s the same as occurred on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:31. They didn’t recognize Jesus until he opened their eyes.
So anyway, back to the story. Jesus takes the blind man and leads him outside the village. Why?
One, because it wasn’t about being seen, it wasn’t about getting glory of any kind. It reminds me of this passage in the Sermon on the Mount:
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:1-3
But doesn’t this healing bring glory to God? One thing I’ve been working on more is letting my life emphatically declare the reality of God. Along those lines, it seems like the healing should be shouted from the rooftops, done in plain sight, to declare the power and reality of God.
But our hearts swell so much. We can’t help but soak in some of the glory for ourselves, just that we are a part of it.
Could I live in complete humility for a day, just doing my acts of righteousness in private, just praising God in my gratitude journal, without anyone ever knowing? That’s a challenging thought. It’s something I need to work on more.
Do things in private. It purifies our hearts. I am sure that when Jesus took this man outside the village he was free from distractions, and especially free from the temptation to care what people think. This definitely speaks loud and clear to spending time in seclusion. We need quiet times.
The last thing I want to address in this story is how Jesus had to try twice to heal the blind man. Surely he who cast out demons and raised the dead could have healed the blind man on his first attempt. Was it because the blind man didn’t have enough faith?
Maybe it’s just that sometimes people are healed in stages. Ken and I were just talking this morning about how God works through processes.
We want so much for our friends to change, for them to see. But their eyes are opened only gradually. They have an insight, a break though. But then it’s just the status quo for awhile. We ache for them to see more. But it has to come in time.
Jesus doesn’t freak out that the man hasn’t been healed. He just tries again. It’s the same with us. We keep trying to expose people to the truth, and praying for them. It may not happen the first time, or the fiftieth time, but the power of Jesus is real. People’s eyes CAN be opened, they CAN see the boundless beauties of God, and that is worth a thousand passionate prayers.