by Tim Hall
A miracle, by definition, is unusual. But among the miracles of Jesus, the healing of the blind man in Mark 8 ranks among the most unusual. First, there is the method Jesus used to restore the man’s sight: “… And when [Jesus] had spit on his eyes and put his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything” (Mark 8:23, NKJV). The man’s reply has led to much discussion; his vision was not yet clear. It was only after Jesus put his hands on him a second time that he could see clearly.
Did Jesus underestimate the size of the task? Was this more challenging than most conditions Jesus met? Or could this have been a situation Jesus deliberately designed in order to teach a lesson? The latter seems the most likely explanation.
This incident is followed by the well-known account of Peter’s confession. The people regarded Jesus as a great figure; some even wondered if he might be the long-awaited Elijah. Peter revealed his view of Jesus: “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29). Would we say that Peter’s spiritual vision had progressed to a higher level of clarity?
But then Peter demonstrated a deficiency in his vision of Jesus. As Jesus told of his pending rejection and crucifixion, Peter rebuked the Lord. Jesus’ response showed that Peter’s vision was not yet where it needed to be: “… you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Mark 8:33).
Six days later Peter witnessed an amazing event, the transfiguration of Jesus. Standing before the wide-eyed apostles were two heroes from the Mosaic covenant, Moses and Elijah. Peter proposed that three tabernacles be erected for Jesus and the two guests. His proposal was rebuffed by heaven: “This is my beloved son. Hear him!” (Mark 9:7) Once more, Peter’s vision was shown to be lacking.
The blind man of Mark 8 could have settled for fuzzy vision. That would have been an improvement over his prior blindness. Instead, he waited for Jesus to do more. But do all of Jesus’ disciples wait for the Lord’s further touch? Do we remain at his feet, anxious to be shown more truth? Or are we content with impaired vision? Is it “good enough” for us? Is it good enough for the Lord?
Wisdom teaches us that learning should never cease: “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 8:34,35).
My vision is not yet as sharp as it can be. I must stay with the Lord if I want to see clearly!
by Tim Hall