Mark – God is On Our Side!
Those of us of a certain age remember, vividly, gathering around our archaic TV sets to watch the adventure of men launching into space with the goal of landing on the moon. I remember the launch. I had just graduated from high school. I would soon make my own “launch” into college in the fall. What I would do with my own life was at the forefront of my mind with fears of the unknown looming before me. But this event made everyone in our country and around the world stop and pay attention, forgetting their own lives and circumstances for a while. Everyone who believed were praying for these brave men.
Daily, we were glued to our television sets to see the progress of this incredible journey. We literally stopped life to watch Neil Armstrong leave the protective conditions of his space craft. It was extremely blurry but we were excited to make out the form of a man descending the ladder. “Oh, wow, can you see him?” “Is that him?” “Wow, can you believe it?” “He’s really walking on the moon!” “Ooh, what does the moon really look like?” So much to see and take in. Our vision was blurry but we were excited to see what we could!
Can you imagine being blind one moment and then seeing the next? Can you imagine Jesus taking you by the hand to heal and restore you? This is even greater than walking on the moon!
Mark 8, NLT
Jesus Heals a Blind Man
22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
The unique thing about this miracle of healing is that it occurred gradually and not instantly. The Gospels record the healing of at least seven blind men, and they show that our Lord used a variety of approaches. Perhaps it was the atmosphere of unbelief in Bethsaida that hindered Him (see Mark 6:5–6), or it may have been the spiritual condition of the man himself. For some reason not given, the man was not ready for instant sight, so Jesus restored him gradually. The fact that the man recognized men and trees suggests that he had not been born blind but had been blinded by accident or disease.
The man was not from Bethsaida, for Jesus sent him home and cautioned him not to enter that town. Now that he had been healed, why go to unbelieving Bethsaida where Jesus had been rejected? His job was to go home and spread the good news of the kingdom, and to demonstrate its power by showing others what Jesus had done for him (see Mark 2:11; 5:34; 10:52). Should he not give another opportunity to the people in Bethsaida? Perhaps they would believe if they heard how Jesus had restored his sight. No, Bethsaida had been given adequate evidence, but still had refused to believe. It is a dangerous thing for anybody to reject the message of God and harden his or her heart in unbelief.
The disciples learned some valuable lessons on this trip, lessons that they would need to remember and apply in later years of ministry. We today need to learn these same lessons; (1) don’t seek after signs, but live by faith in His Word; (2) trust Jesus to meet needs; (3) avoid the leaven of false doctrine; (4) let Jesus work as He wills, and expect variety in His working.
AS WE CONTINUE…
Mark recorded the events of some busy days in the ministry of God’s Servant! Next he will take us “behind the scenes” as the Servant instructs His disciples and prepares them for His death on the cross.
Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Your Word continually takes us “behind the scenes” of your purpose and glory. We see blurry at first, then you open our eyes to more and more of Your Truth. We cannot take it in all at once, it seems, for Your thoughts are extremely higher than our thoughts. Thank you for being patient with us as we learn, step by step, your ways, will, and purpose for our lives. I love you, Lord with all that is in me. Continue to transform me. Help me to see clearly. Open my eyes. Open the eyes of my family and friends.
In Jesus Name, Amen