Jesus heals a blind man gradually

On November 30, 1991, fierce winds from a freakish dust storm triggered a massive freeway pileup along Interstate 5 near Coalinga, California. At least 14 people died and dozens more were injured as topsoil whipped by 50 mile-per-hour winds reduced visibility to zero. The afterno … More

Blindness

Blindness was one of the great medical curses of the Middle East. We find Jesus taking a blind man by the hand and leading him out of town so He could deal with him privately (vv. 22-23). The healing of this person is recorded only in the book of Mark and it is the only miracle that Jesus performed which happened gradually. (vv. 24-26). In this miracle the blind man’s sight came back in two stages. After the first touch he had only limited vision, but after the second touch his eyesight was restored completely.

There is symbolic truth here. No man sees all of God’s truth all at one time. One of the dangers of a certain type of evangelism is that it encourages the idea that when a man has made his decision for Christ he is a full-grown Christian. One of the dangers of Church membership is that it can be presented in such a way as to imply that when a person becomes a member of the Church he has come to the end of the road. This is so far from the truth because becoming a Christian and Church membership are only the beginning of the road.

From this city of Bethsaida on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and His disciples traveled about twenty-five miles north to the village of Caesarea of Philippi (vv. 27-30). Caesarea of Philippi was outside Galilee altogether. It was not in the territory of Herod, but in the territory of Philip. It was on His way here that Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do you say that I am?’ and Peter answered by saying, “Thou art the Christ.” Why did Jesus warn His own disciples not to tell anyone about Him (v. 30)? Possibly it was because He knew they needed more teaching about the work He would accomplish through His death and resurrection and now they only knew half truth.

Application

What stages of spiritual sight have I passed through? Who do I know that needs help in this area? How can I help those who are spiritually blind?

Mark 8:22-30 (English Standard Version)

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More Mark commentaries

Mark 5:1-10
The Demon Possessed Man at Gerasa

Mark 5:11-20
Two Thousand Hogs Drown

Mark 5:21-34
Hemorrhaging Woman Healed

Mark 5:35-43
Jesus Heals Jairus Daughter

Mark 6:1-6
Jesus returns to His home town of Nazareth

Mark 6:7-13
Jesus sends His disciples as missionaries

Mark 6:14-29
Mark tells about the death of John the Baptist

Mark 6:30-44
Feeding of the 5000

Mark 6:45-52
Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 6:53-56
Crowd wanting to be healed

Mark 7:1-13
Conflict with the religious leaders over laws

Mark 7:14-23
Jesus attacks a system of rules and regulations

Mark 7:24-30
Jesus casts a demon out of a Gentile daughter

Mark 7:31-37
Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment

Mark 8:1-9
Jesus feeds 4000 with 7 baskets leftover

Mark 8:10-21
The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven

Mark 8:22-30
Jesus heals a blind man gradually

Mark 8:31-38
Jesus warns His disciples that He is going to die

Mark 9:1-8
Jesus takes 3 of His disciples to a high mountain

Mark 9:9-13
Three disciples question about the transfiguration

Mark 9:14-29
The disciples are helpless and ineffective

Mark 9:30-37
Disciples arguing about who is the greatest

Mark 9:38-50
Jesus says greatness comes from serving others.

Mark 10:1-12
Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

Mark 10:13-22
Possessions don’t help you obtain eternal life

Mark 10:23-31
Hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God

Mark 10:32-45
Willingness to give extra service

Mark 10:46-52
Every male Jew must attend passover

Mark 11:1-11
Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

Mark 11:12-18
Jesus said the temple is a den of thieves

Mark 11:19-26
Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up

Mark 11:27-33
Jesus questioned on His authority