A Blind Man in Bethsaida Meets Jesus- Mark 8:22-26
Updated: Jan 28
With great jubilance and noise my friends burst through the door of my work. Everyone is talking at once which makes it difficult to distinguish just who is there and what they are clamoring about in their excitement. Still, I try to follow their conversation and continue to work plucking the leaves off the pile of fruit at my knees and then laying them carefully in baskets to sell at the market. I must have missed something BIG, for suddenly I am tugged to standing and pushed and pulled by friends on either arm as they spoke even faster yelling, "Let's hurry, quick before the crowds appear!" Their laughing was infectious as was the comedy of all of us tripping over one another. I could hardly be heard by anyone as I requested what I was being drawn toward. The only thing that kept getting repeated to me was, "You will see!"
"Oh, real funny!" I retorted laughing at their phrase. How I wish I could see again; it has been so many years since the illness took my sight. I longed to see the blue sky with the meadows dotted with trees sloping down to the dark blue green water of the Sea of Galilee which is usually speckled with white sails of the boats gliding across. I yearn to see the faces of my family and friends for the details are fading in my memory, and I dare not tell them. Even the blessing of seeing the food that God graciously supplies my table would be a priceless gift to me. Abruptly interrupting my thoughts, we come to a sudden stop and with great earnest my friends start to plead to someone. They drop hold of me, and I ascertain from the direction of their voices that they are down low to the ground. I can only make out, "Please teacher, touch our friend!"
Without a word, I hear footsteps coming toward me and my hand is lifted and placed into another. For some reason I feel safe and allow myself to be led. To my great astonishment, my friends are speechless- that's a miracle. I wondered if this teacher was going to pray for me. It felt so right, and so I continue to comply. We walk silently away from the noise of the village and out of the gates of Bethsaida. The breeze was easier to feel here, in fact all my senses were on high alert. I am confused, excited and full of questions, but I stay silent. As did my friends who practically step on my heels as I walk along. I keep swatting them with my spare hand, but no one is getting the message. Someone nearby calls the teacher's name, Jesus. Who is this Jesus? We stop, and he lets go of my hand. I wait expectantly for his prayer, but all I hear is spitting. Ever so gently, I feel a hand closing over my eyelids and a salve of moisture applied- still silence. His hands fall away and I open my eyes. My knees buckle, and I can't stand. Falling to my knees, I see the light of day. My eyes have been opened. Tears roll down my face. Jesus asks me, "Do you see anything?"
Looking up at him, I respond, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." My heart is full and my heart is rejoicing with this amount of sight. Jesus once again touches my eyes and then pulls away. My heart is pumping so hard, I can be sure all who are near AND far can hear it. I utter thanksgiving to God and open my eyes yet again. My first sight is that of warm dark and sparkling eyes of a smiling man filled with joy standing before me. A group of people are standing behind him in awe, and my friends are going crazy jumping up and down hugging and slapping one another at my side. I look up at the crisp blue sky dotted with clouds, down at my hands and feet, then in every direction; I want to see the leaves on the trees and the birds in the air and the sight of the sea. Jesus gives me a hug, and strangely, it feels like one from a family member and not a stranger. He looks me directly in the eyes and says to go home and not back into the village. My friends grab me one by one to hug me and to reintroduce their face to me. With laughter and inexplicable delight, we thank Jesus. Then without having to take my hand, my friends start running down the hill towards the water where we live. In my exhilaration, I aim to out run them all and to lead the way! Jesus gave fullness to my life...the day had started like every other day only this time, I had an encounter with the one who has the power to change my life. Forever grateful for His touch on my life, I will praise God.
map from Bible Atlas:
Questions for Reflection:
When was the last time you led someone to Jesus- maybe it was by sending them a Bible teaching, a book or bringing them to church or just sharing the Good News about what He has done for you?
When was the last time you had an impacting encounter with the One who can change your
life? He can open your eyes again and again to view issues you have in life in another
perspective that can bring you peace
This account in Bethsaida is only recorded in Mark chapter 8. It is the only time that we see Jesus touching someone twice to have a complete healing. The man received his eyes being opened. What joy this was for him to see light and blur! He didn't ask for more, but Jesus offered him more. This is such a great analogy for us. We walk this earth blinded to our spiritual depravity. Hopefully, someone cares to bring us to the One who can help us "see." We are blinded to many of our sinful ways until we accept Jesus into our hearts, and we become aware of things we do that may not be pleasing to God. For some, it is the way they continually complain, maybe it is being easily annoyed with others, or seeking self pleasing activities over helping others in need, or possibly cursing is found in their language. If we stay "at his feet" and "looking up" - kneeling before the Father in prayer, we will be "touched" again and again without having to even ask. He will open our eyes more and more to His likeness and light, and we will see clearer and clearer- right from wrong. When we enter Heaven, we will be made complete as in 1 Corinthians 13:12 , "Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."
For now, we are work in progress -we see dimly-seeking God to help us love more and to reflect His nature. The more time we spend with the Father letting the light into our eyes, we will find deeper healing from our sinful ways.
There are four recorded instances where he heals blindness. (Matthew 12:22-23, Mark 8:22-26, Mark 10:46-52 and John 9:1-7). Every time Jesus healed differently: speaking the word, touching the eyes with spit, touching the eyes with spit and mud and then told to wash. Interestingly, Jesus is displaying that it is faith in coming to God that heals them and not the method. How often he told the person, "Your faith has healed you, go in peace." This is so encouraging for we too can go to God and find healing. Healing can be for emotions, physically or in relationships. We go to the One who has the power to change our lives.
The scripture says "some people brought the blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him." What great friends this blind man had! What a great example of how caring friends can make a huge difference in people's lives. Reminding ourselves to beg before the Lord in prayer for a touch on our family and friends' lives.
Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:26-39 If we live our lives secure in knowing our God gives us hope and peace in our troubles in that He works all things out for the good of those love Him (Romans 8:28), but we never care to share that treasure with others then we are not loving our neighbor. Just as we seek a "touch from God", we should be passionate for our friends to be "touched by God" too. Taking time to bring people to Jesus would be loving others like you love yourself.
Read the account as it is written in the Bible: