When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
“Do you see anything?”
Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”
Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Mark 8:23-25
This story is very unique for one reason. It’s unique because the first time Jesus tried to cure the blind man it only worked half way. He could see after Jesus’ first attempt to heal his blindness, but what he saw were “people looking like trees and walking.” It took Jesus laying His hands on the man’s eyes a second time for him to be fully cured. Why is that?
Consistently, throughout the Gospels, when Jesus cures someone it is done as a result of the faith they have and manifest. It’s not that Jesus couldn’t heal someone without faith; rather, it’s that this is what He chose to do. He made healing contingent upon complete faith.
In this miracle story, it appears that the blind man has some faith, but not much. As a result, Jesus does something very telling. He allows the man to be healed only part way so as to illustrate his lack of faith. But He also reveals to us that a little faith can lead to more faith. The man, once he could see a little, clearly began to believe some more. And once his faith grew, Jesus laid hands on him again, bringing his healing to completion.
What a great illustration for us! Some people may have complete faith in God in all things. If that is you, then you are truly blessed. But this passage is especially for those who have faith, but struggle nonetheless. To those who fall into this category, Jesus is offering much hope. The action of healing the man twice in a row tells us that Jesus is patient and merciful and will take the little we have, and the little we offer, and use it the best He can. He will work to transform our little faith so that we can then take another step closer to God and grow in faith.
The same could be said of sin. Sometimes we have imperfect sorrow for sin and sometimes we sin and have no sorrow for it, even though we know it’s wrong. If that is you, then try to take at least one small step forward toward the healing of forgiveness. Try, at very least, to desire that you will grow in a desire to be sorry. That may be the bare minimum, but Jesus will work with it.
Reflect, today, upon this blind man. Ponder this twofold healing and twofold conversion the man undergoes. Know that this is you and that Jesus wants to take you one step further in your faith and in your repentance of sin.
Lord of mercy, I thank You for the incredible patience You have with me. I know my faith in You is weak and must increase. I know my sorrow for my sins must also increase. Please do take the little faith I have and the little sorrow I have for my sins and use them to draw me one step closer to You and Your merciful heart. Jesus, I trust in You.