study is about an unusual healing. Most of us would call it a miracle.
I am sure that the man who gained his eyesight called it a miracle. I
wonder how he felt. Do you think that he thought he was just another
miracle among so many that Jesus had performed? I wonder! Or, did he
feel that Jesus cared about him? In some churches and para-church organizations,
people are often just a number when the ministry has the wrong focus.
When a ministry is concerned about how many people were contacted, witnessed
to, or counseled, people become just a number - just cold facts. We will
soon discover that Jesus did not treat this man as a number or a contact
that the disciples recorded in their statistics. Jesus could have healed
entire crowds of people all at one time, but He did not do that. Instead,
He dealt with each person individually. He spent time with them. His
compassion was evident. Come! See Jesus! See Jesus heal a blind man who
was visually all alone in a world of those who see.
The Setting. Mark 8:22-26 is the text for
our study. Jesus and the disciples have entered the city of Bethsaida.
Bethsaida was located on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus
and the disciples had just finished feeding about 4,000 men somewhere
along the coast before they returned to the west side of the Sea of Galilee.
Then after an encounter with the Pharisees during which they asked Him
for a sign to prove that He was the Messiah, Jesus returned to the east
side to visit Bethsaida.
And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind
man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Mark 8:22 (NAS95S)
Verse 22 reveals that some unidentified group of people brought a blind
man to Jesus in the city. Their request was simple - touch him - heal
him. The Greek text tells us that they were exhorting or encouraging
Him to heal. They must have been afraid that Jesus would not heal the
man. Was Jesus busy healing others? Was Jesus eating His lunch, walking
or talking with the disciples? Was there a reason they were urging Him
to heal the blind man?
Did you notice that the names of the people are not recorded?
The Holy Spirit did not record their names. Maybe it is a subtle reminder
that we should not seek credit for the wonderful events that occur in
ministry. The glory should go to the Lord and not to ourselves. All that
is recorded is that these unnamed people had compassion for their friend
and not themselves. Do you ever help others in order to receive the praise
His Own Hand. Finally, Jesus responded
to their compassion for their friend. He reached out and grasped the
blind man’s hand. The people who brought the blind man must have
been relieved and maybe even smiled at each other. They had been successful.
Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out
of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on
him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” Mark 8:23 (NAS95S)
As I read this passage, I rejoice that Jesus did not ask someone else
to take care of this blind man. Jesus did not ask for money to be collected
before or after the healing. He did not ask for someone from the local
Gospel Rescue Mission or some other local ministry to take care of the
man. Jesus did not ask him if he had faith for the healing. Jesus was
not uninvolved nor did he make up some excuse why He could not help.
How often we are quick to give money for a worthy cause and never get
involved ourselves. Sometimes our hearts are missing the compassion for
others that God wants us to have. No, Jesus took His own hand, reached
out and touched the blind man. The man may have been dirty or diseased.
Was his faced disfigured from an accident resulting in his blindness?
Yet, Jesus touched him.
Then Jesus took the man outside the village, leading him
by his hand. Why did Jesus go outside the town? Most likely Jesus wanted
to get away from the crowd or some critics inside the town. Then Jesus
spit on the man’s eyes. I wonder if the blind man reacted when
the warm spit landed on his eyes? A blind man would not see the spit
coming nor would he see Jesus reaching out to touch him, unless Jesus
warned the man in advance. Then Jesus touched his eyes. The Greek text
reveals that Jesus repeatedly asked him, “Do you see anything?” Evidently,
the man did not respond the first time and maybe not the second or third
Finally, he did respond,
And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see
them like trees, walking around.” Mark 8:24 (NAS95S)