Mark: Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

Read: Mark 8:22-26

Mark includes this brief narrative about healing a blind man at Bethsaida. “Some people” brought the man to Jesus and begged Him to restore his sight. Mark doesn’t let us know if these people are family or friends, but obviously they knew Jesus could heal him, so they tracked him down.

As with the deaf and mute man from chapter 7, Jesus takes the man away from the people, in this case, outside the village.

Here’s the really odd thing about the story: Jesus has to apply spit on the man’s eyes twice. The first time didn’t quite work.

Obviously, Jesus could have healed him in one application (or at least it seems obvious), but for some reason the man was only able to see partially. After the second application of spit on the man’s eyes, all is well and Jesus once again tells the recipient of the miracle to keep it secret.

Why would John Mark include this particular story? Jesus, no doubt, healed lots of people, so it seems prudent to look for meaning beyond the incredible outcome. Here’s what the NIV Study Bible notes prompts us to consider:

This second laying on of hands is unique in Jesus’ healing ministry. It may symbolize that the disciples’ spiritual sight is gradually increasing.NIV Study Bible Notes

I like the concept because there are definitely times that I feel like I’m walking around just seeing blurry images of trees rather than clearly understanding what’s right in front of me. I find myself constantly praying for vision, for clarity, for direction in this ministry or in that application.

Proverbs 29:18 comes to mind. My memory of this scripture is simply, without vision people will perish, but when I looked at various translations, there is much to learn here. Take a look yourself and see what you think. It’s a bit of a rabbit-trail from this post, so I’ll leave that up to you.

Frequently, when I ask about praying for someone, their request is for clarity, for the ability to discern God’s direction for their lives.

Lord, help us to see clearly what lies ahead so we can be more effective in our ministry, that which you have called us to do for the advancement of Your kingdom.

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