August 15

Gradual Healings, Part 1

Mark 8:22-25 Then [Jesus] came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Jesus’ gradual healing of the blind man has many applications for us. For one, it encourages us to keep looking for completeness in anything the Lord begins. Of course, this seems to apply at first glance to healing, but we can be “confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” which applies to every good work He begins.

We should never be hesitant to ask the Lord to “put His hands on [us] again.” It might be that this is the next prayer He is hoping to hear from us. Note that after Jesus touched the blind man for the second time, He “made him look up.” Whether or not this was aimed at getting him to activate his physical eyesight, we can certainly be encouraged to “look up” as He touches us as well. If we need to activate our healing with an activity that expresses our faith in Him, perhaps we are called to do that. But we certainly should “look up” in terms of our faith, our hearts, and our trust.

Yet perhaps the most significant aspect of this healing is its placement in God’s word. It’s preceded by the feeding of the four thousand, a request for a sign by the Pharisees (ironic in that this unfulfilled request comes right after the miracle of the feeding!), and a conversation with the disciples about their failure to understand what Jesus called “the leaven of the Pharisees.” Jesus asks his disciples, “Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see?”

In the next passage of Scripture, Jesus asks His disciples who men say He is, and Peter makes his groundbreaking, revelatory proclamation that He is the Christ. Finally, after so many questions from Jesus and so much confusion among His followers, the light has broken through; they can see! Like the blind man, there was once partial understanding about who this Man was, until more time with Jesus finally brought true and clear comprehension.

Let’s remember the placement of this story of healing when we look to God to touch us in any area. It may take more than one touch of His hand, and He may well ask us to “look up.” Whether it’s a physical healing we’re looking for, or understanding (the disciple’s challenge), it’s the Lord’s will to finish the works He’s begun, but it may well involve more than one touch from His hand.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see things I don’t see. Heal my spiritual sight. If I need to “look up” as part of the healing, please make it clear what I need to do. And please, Lord, in every area that needs to be completed, touch me again.

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