I like to get opinions and reactions during my Bible teaching.
It is always interesting to listen to everyone’s perspective.
I was sharing from the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8 and reflected on the healing of the blind man. I think this must be the only instance when there was what seemed like an incomplete miracle, and it took Jesus two attempts to heal the blind man.
The man after the first touch by Jesus should have been seeing everything clearly, instead he was seeing blurred images, people looked like trees. And it seemed to come across like Jesus didn’t do a good job.
‘Do you think Jesus messed up?’, I asked those present in our meeting and encouraged them to share their thoughts on why the miracle was incomplete initially.
Here are some of the answers I got.
1. The blind man didn’t come to Jesus by himself, so he didn’t have enough faith.
2. Jesus was testing the blind man’s faith.
3. Jesus was upset and frustrated.
What about you? What do you think happened?
As for me, this is what I noted from reading Mark Chapter 8:
Jesus multiplies the bread because He wants to provide for the people who come to Him. Soon after the miracle the Pharisees annoy Jesus with their religious, faithless mindsets. Jesus then gets into a boat with the disciples.
The disciples forgot to carry bread on that journey.
While speaking to them as they travel, Jesus uses the metaphor of the leaven and tries to warn His disciple not to get influenced by the world and the stiff, religious mindset like that of the Pharisees which can take away real faith.
The disciples don’t seem to get His point and think Jesus is talking about leaven because they don’t have bread.
Their limiting mindset frustrated Jesus.
He is annoyed that they are still bothered about not having enough despite seeing the miracle of multiplication just a while back.
He reminds them of not one but two instances where they had little, and Jesus multiplied it into much.
What is the point Jesus is trying to drive home?
Beware of negative and evil influence. And, don’t bother about the lack of physical food but rather be mindful of lacking spiritual food. And remember the previous miracles and know that God is able to do anything.
Moving on let us read Mark 8: 24-25
“Jesus 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
When we read the above passage, we see Jesus takes the blind man away from the village and the crowd.
Does it help to bring a man in need of a miracle away from the people and place him in a quiet place?
The man has not come on his own so obviously there is not much faith or knowledge he has of who exactly Jesus is.
Under such circumstance there is not enough ground for a miracle.
Here are a few hypothetical outcomes in case Jesus hadn’t led the man away from the crowd.
a. The man could have relied more on the people who brought him than on Jesus.
b. With no understanding of who Jesus is the man could get healed and take the healing as well as Jesus for granted and go away without having a change in mindset
c. The man might mingle back with the crowd and get influenced by them
Maybe here in India, some would recommend rose water for cleansing the eyes. Some might also suggest a decoction of coriander seeds soaked overnight or a drink made with amla, the Indian gooseberry.
Other cultures might have even different kinds of local remedies available for the eyes but Jesus bypassed all the different methods and styles and remedies in addressing this man’s eye problem.
He came up with an even more unusual method – spitting on the eyes.
‘Oh Jesus, that’s a bit too much’, isn’t that what we are tempted to say when things don’t go our way?
But, here, the blind man is humble and submissive despite the spitting.
And who knows, maybe it is within his silent submission that Jesus found ground to work a miracle for the man.
Did Jesus keep the miracle incomplete intentionally?
I definitely think so.
Just imagine what the blind man must have gone through.
Away from the crowd, alone with Jesus and just half a miracle, the man hangs on with Jesus, unlike many others who without experiencing 100% result might get frustrated and turn away from Jesus.
In this case, getting stuck with an incomplete miracle has made a way for the man to enjoy the luxury of spending time alone with Jesus.
And by spending time alone with Jesus, the man gets to receive a complete breakthrough!
So here’s the question, What do you do when you are stuck in the middle of an incomplete miracle?
The Bible says that at the Name of Jesus every knee must bow. I like to take that literally and believe that it does not matter what kind of knee that is, it must bow. Whether it’s a knee of sickness or sadness, poverty or pain, defeat or death…that knee has to bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus and you and I will see victory.
What can we summarize from the story of the blind man in Mark 8?
No matter what. Hold on to Jesus. He is able!
Take time to enjoy the luxury of being alone with the King of Kings, it’s a lovely opportunity.
Submit to Jesus in silence and you will enjoy a supernatural answer to your problem.
Wishing you a great weekend.
With lots of Love!