JESUS HEALS THE BLIND MAN OF BETHSAIDA
Mark 8:22-26 And He cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch him. And 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 upon him, He asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And He sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
According to the gospel of Mark, the healing of the blind man of Bethsaida took place immediately after Jesus warned and explained to His disciples the meaning of the parabolic adage to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees (Mark 8:15). Having sailed from Gadara across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and His disciples came to the city of Bethsaida, which is located along the northeast coast of this sea. Once there, a blind man was brought to Jesus, not by His disciples, but by others that were possibly family members or friends. No doubt they had witnessed or had heard of Jesus' compassionate healing power. Therefore by the faith of the blind man, or the faith of those that brought him, they desired that Jesus touch the man, and by doing so, restore his sight.
By reviewing the majority of Jesus' miracles we can find that Jesus uses many different methods to impart His healing power to those that suffer from various maladies. At times He merely spoke words that resulted in restoring one's health. He touched some, some touched Him or His clothing, He used mud made from spittle, He defied nature by walking on water, He even restored life to those that had died, etc. In the miracle found in this lesson, Jesus led the blind man out of the town, ...spit on his eyes, and put His hands on him. It seems that Jesus was using healing techniques that would enable the blind man to understand, believe, and develop a strong faith in the healing power of Jesus. Having done these things, Jesus asked the blind man if he could see anything. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. What the man saw was vague shadows of recognizable objects that appeared to be moving.This indicates that the man was not born blind but lost his sight due to some disease or accident later on in life. He would not have known what men and trees looked like if he were blind from birth.
Why Jesus allowed the blind man to gradually regain his sight in this miraculous healing process is not known. It is possible that, when partial sight came to him, his faith in Jesus would become even stronger. With a portion of his sight returned, the man saw faint images, much like seeing the shape of trees in the distance. Yet he knew they were not trees because he saw movement as if men were walking past him. Having his faith strengthened with partial sight, he knew that Jesus also had the power to wholly restore his ability to see. Realizing his faith in Him, Jesus put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. This is the only record of a miracle being performed by Jesus, progressively taking place just as the faith of the one being healed also progressed. Looking up, after Jesus touched the man's eyes once again, the blind man's sight was fully restored. The indistinct images that he had first seen that resembled moving trees, he now clearly saw as men that were walking before him. Most men and women that were healed by Jesus were, as in this instance, asked not to tell anyone about it. Whether this man obeyed Jesus' request we are not told. However most were so elated when they departed from the presence of Jesus and returned to their family or homeland, told everyone within shouting distance of the compassionate miracle they had received from Him.
Looking at the manner used in this miraculous physical healing, one can easily apply it to healing those that are spiritually blind. All men and women are spiritually blind that enter into, and remain, in sin, are outside the saving body of Christ. The first glint of spiritual light they receive is often the result of the teaching of a Christian relative, friend, or another member of Christ's church. With every period of dedicated study of God's word, the spiritual images that were once dim become clearer with each bit of knowledge gained from Christ's inspired gospel message of salvation. When complete conversion occurs and culminates in baptism for the remission of sins, that beauty which was first seen indistinctly, can now be clearly seen. Then, and only then, can the true spiritual beauty of the hope of eternal salvation in Christ Jesus be seen.