Year 2 Day 359
Read - Mark 8:22-26
Message - Alan Burke
If you have read or watched the film Lord of the Rings you will know about the Ents. Ents are a species of beings, they are trees but they can walk and talk. That is what this man saw, not Ents from Lord of the Rings but rather people as tress. Jesus had healed this man, he had given him sight but in the first instalment all that he could see is people as trees walking around (v24). But Jesus wasn’t done with this man, as the passage continues Jesus Grants Full Sight to this man!
It’s not that he wasn’t healed, Jesus had imparted sight to this man but the miracle wasn’t complete. Then in v25, Jesus puts his hands on the mans eyes once more and then we are told his eyes were opened, his sight restored. It was at that point that this man was able to see clearly again, no longer were there Ents walking around, he didn’t see people as trees, he saw people, his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly, but why was this healing in two stages, why wasn’t he completely healed the first time?
Well we’re not told specifically in the text, were not given the reason and the breakdown of why this miracle, this healing was in two parts. But when we look at what has come before with the disciples who had seen and heard Jesus, who were eyewitnesses to His power, and yet had sat in the boat after the feeding of the four thousand worrying about a loaf of bread, and we look at the question of Jesus to the disciples we understand that Jesus is teaching his disciples and us a spiritual truth.
If you have your bibles open before you and look to verse 17, where Jesus speaking to his disciples, asks them; “…why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand?”. Then here Jesus is asking this man do you see anything, it’s an unusual question, but it is an echo of what has just happen, he asked the disciples, "do you still not see” he asked this man “do you see anything”.
Jesus was healing this man in stages, he was gradually moved from darkness, to light, from being blind to seeing in part, to seeing clearly. The disciples of Jesus who were in the boat were being given sight of the truth of who Jesus was and is, and it would lead Peter to confess that Jesus is the Christ. These disciples had started to see, but it was dimly, they had not come to full sight, they were with him and although Peter would confess it would only be after His death and resurrection that they would see and understand fully.
This miracle that comes in stages, as this man is V22-24 ‘Granted Partial Sight’ before being V25-26 ‘Granted Full Sight’. They were blind to the spiritual reality of who Jesus was and is, but even though they still did not see, Jesus could make them see. It wouldn’t happen by their own effort or work, rather the ability to see and also hear like the man who was deaf and mute is a gift of God. This mans healing in stages is like that of the disciples, who did not see or hear, they did not understand (8:17-21), to what follows this misunderstanding (v29-33) to finally to clear sight so that they have eyes and see and they have ears to hear that Jesus is the Son of God (15:39). The remaining blindness of the disciples, their deafness to the message that Jesus proclaimed, Jesus could relieve, by his power.
There are those around us that we may think to ourselves they will never see or understand, that there is no hope for them, but this healing of this blind man should be an encouragement to us, God may yet change their hearts that He would enable them to see. So we should continue praying for them and sharing the gospel to them as we have the opportunity. Finally we grow in our knowledge and understanding of our great God, and are able to see more clearly as we hear His word, by praying to Him, by participating in the sacraments. These Ordinary means, God has given us and are the way that he communicates to us the benefits of redemption. If you want to grow more, come faithfully under His Word each Lord’s day, praying to Him, partaking in the sacraments and He will enable us to grow to spiritual maturity.
Q3 What do the scriptures principally teach?
The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. (2 Tim. 1:13, 2 Tim. 3:16)