Lord God, I come to You and Your Word now eager to hear what You have to teach me today.
Read Mark 8:22-26
 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”  He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”  Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.  Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow would you describe Jesus' healing of this blind man?
This story finishes the section in Mark concerned with Jesus’ mission beyond Israel. It offers a progress report on the disciples’ grasp of what his ministry was all about. Like the stories of the two feedings (6:30-44; 8:1-13), there is also a symbolic aspect to Mark’s telling of this story. This does not mean that it didn’t happen, or that we should ignore the wonderful miracle of healing which Jesus performed. Indeed, the account contains exactly the sort of realistic touches you would expect when someone who has never seen suddenly becomes aware that people look like moving trees (24)! It also contains a classic account of how a holy man’s saliva was thought to be able to generate healing (23). Jesus frequently uses popular belief to engender faith, though in the end all it needs is a touch (25). Mark wants us to understand at this point that the spiritual eyes of the disciples are being gradually opened. They may only perceive dimly what is going on but something is happening to them, and their vision is gradually becoming clearer. The next two chapters demonstrate further stages in the process. They, like us, needed time.
How has your vision of Jesus gradually become clearer recently? Ask Jesus for more clarity where you need it.
Thank God now for his patience and unfailing commitment to your personal growth in grace and understanding.
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