As we’ve talked about seeing this week, I realized how often Jesus speaks of eyes and light and seeing. I tried to do a search to see how many blind people Jesus heals in the good news stories we have but often the writers simply say he healed many who were blind or lame or deaf. I think it safe to say that Jesus helped a lot of folks who had vision issues both physical and spiritual.
In Mark’s telling of the good news story of Jesus, we get this curious story of a man brought to Jesus to be healed of his blindness. Instead of healing him instantly right there before the crowd’s eyes, Jesus takes the man away from them. He first spits in the man’s eyes and asks the man if he sees anything. The man says he can see people but they look like trees. This time, Jesus puts his hands over the man’s eyes and the man is able to see in perfect focus.
Why, do you think, that Jesus took this man aside? He’s done lots of public healing in full view of everyone. Why was this time different?
Perhaps Jesus knew the the people’s motivation for bringing this man was to see a good show, to watch this Miracle Worker they’d heard about in action. Perhaps Jesus knew they weren’t ready to understand that the healing he offered went far deeper than physical conditions. Perhaps Jesus knew they weren’t ready to accept healing for their own lives and relationships and would have been satisfied to simply observe someone else’s healing.
And then there’s the two part healing. What’s up with that? We know it isn’t because Jesus was off his game. Jesus was intentional with all that he did; everything he says and does is intended to teach and form us into Kingdom people.
The healing Jesus brings us is so much more than physical. This man could see better than he was able before Jesus spit on his eyes (was he able to see at some point in life because he knew what a tree looked like?) but he wasn’t fully healed. To be fully healed this man needed to see people properly, to see them clearly (see this post: Seeing Clearly).
We cry out to God to heal our physical needs and physical healing is no small issue yet Jesus offers us so much more. Jesus offers us spiritual wellbeing that enables us to see the world as God sees, to see the image of God in ourselves and others so that we see each other properly.
Where in our lives do we need to allow Jesus’ love to heal our vision fully?