When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. 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?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” 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. Mark 8:22-25 (NLT)
Can you see me now? Sounds more like something we would say as we try to fix something, right? It doesn’t sound like something Jesus would say. We are so used to Jesus performing a miracle one time. One and done. There isn’t ever a question about whether he got it right the first time.
That’s why this story made me pause. And of course, then it made me ponder. Why? Why did he spit in the man’s eyes and then touch them and ask “Can you see anything?” I know Jesus could have healed the man immediately so to me, that’s not the question. The question is why didn’t he? We also know that Jesus always did things for the people’s benefit and God’s glory.
So what was it in this man that made Jesus heal him in stages? One of the interesting things in this passage is that other people brought him to Jesus and begged him to heal him. In other stories, the person who needed healing is crying out to Jesus for healing. Could the man have given up? Was his faith gone? Maybe he’d never heard of Jesus and didn’t know the possibilities?
When the friends brought him to Jesus, Jesus took over. He led him out of the town and had a one-on-one with him. He involved him in the process and engaged him in his healing. There could be so many reasons that Jesus interacted with this man the way he did and until we get to heaven we won’t know what they are. But, we do know a couple of things.
We are often like this blind man. Maybe we’ve given up. Maybe we are so discouraged we don’t have it in us to seek what is best for us. Maybe we just need a one-on-one.
I know Jesus has touched me and grown me in stages. I long for him to just change me into what he wants me to be. I really would like him to just make me new but because this has happened over time and in a relationship with him, it is so much more valuable to me.
When we encounter him, we are not healed all at once. It takes multiple encounters. And maybe, just maybe when we get a glimpse of the “trees”, we know there is something better and we keep looking for more.
Lord Jesus, please touch me again!