I have felt inclined to read Mark 8:22-26; the miracle of a blind man whose sight was restored. This passage fascinates me because it is the only noted case in which Jesus touched the person twice before they received their complete healing. Yet there is no declaration within this passage as to why this was done in this manner.
In looking deeper into the matter, I found several things that are not openly expressed in these few scriptures. Yet they are actively affecting how Jesus conducts Himself in restoring the sight of this blind man.
Let's begin. Bethsaida is a town in the Galilee area. Three of the disciples of Jesus are originally from there: Phillip, Andrew, and Peter (John 1:44). However, it also appears that at this time, Bethsaida is under correction by God; along with the town of Chorazin; for having witnessed "mighty works" of God and yet remaining in the state of non-repentance (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13). The status of this town, makes it probable for Jesus to have reason for escorting the blind man out of the town into a more private place. Another probable reason is that Jesus is carrying out precedence from a prior event in which He healed a person from leprosy (Mark 1:39-45). He had healed this man and instructed him to go and present themselves to a priest, yet no one else. However, this man disobeyed the instructions of Jesus and freely told everyone. Consequently, in visiting other towns and villages, Jesus now remained at their outskirts; yet in private and deserted areas. Nevertheless, people from towns and villages continued to go and/ or bring people to Him; so that they may be healed and made well.
I cannot help to wonder what Jesus said to the blind man as He escorted him out of town. Did Jesus explain to him, that Bethsaida was under correction by God, yet, because of the faith of the people who brought him to Him, He had asked His Father to do a mighty work in him? Did Jesus simply tell him about Himself and shared a brief message of repentance and encouraged his faith for restoration of his sight as well? On the other hand, perhaps Jesus did not say anything to the blind man, instead He asked him for his story in regards to his blindness. It certainly is something to wonder about.
Jesus went on to heal the blind man. He "spit on his eyes and put His hands on him". Yet, the blind man's sight was not fully restored; it was blurry. So Jesus "put His hands on his eyes again", and now his sight was completely restored and he could see the people clearly. Although another mighty work was done through Jesus, scripture does not clearly state the reason why Jesus touched the blind man twice before completely restoring his sight.
Hence, I am left to wonder as to why did Jesus have to touch the blind man twice before completely restoring his sight? I have my own theories, based upon the evidence presented in scripture. 1.) The blind man could have been a symbol of the unrepentant hearts of the people of Bethsaida. They had witnessed the might works of God through Jesus, yet they perhaps only saw Him as a holy man and not the expected Messiah. 2.) The blind man could have been a symbol of the confused hearts of the disciples. They had lived and walked with Him; they had witnessed His mighty works; yet they held doubt as to weather or not He was the expected Messiah (Mark 11:23).
3.) The blind man could have heard what Jesus shared with Him, yet lacked faith, trust in Him. The blind man could have doubt as Jesus began to heal Him. Yet, perhaps once he was able to see "men, like trees, walking", his faith was further encouraged and his sight was completely restored when Jesus touched him again (Mark 8:24).
4.) Jesus never healed everyone with the same method. So why should I limit the healing of the blind man to one specific method? After all, some people were healed when Jesus reached out to touch them (Mark 1:41; 7:43). Yet other people were healed when they reached out to touch Jesus (Mark 5:25-34; 6:56; Matthew 14:36). There is even a case when a centurion said "Lord I am not worthy that You [Jesus] should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." "And his servant was healed that same hour" (Matthew 8:5-13)! Furthermore, there are noted cases in which Jesus did not reach the sick people before their death. Yet, He not only removed the sickness out of their body but also brought them back to the living (Mark 5:23,24; 35-43; John 11:1-45)!
Nevertheless, after sight had been restored to the blind man, Jesus instructed him to not "go into town and tell anyone". I can only look at scripture and see how Jesus did not desire a re-occurrence of the incident of the man who was healed from leprosy. However, I also perceive that perhaps Jesus knew in His heart that one more miracle would not change the unrepentant heart of the people of Bethsaida. They would still not acknowledge Him as the Messiah.
In closing, if we are brought to or come on our own to the presence of Jesus, let us arise in faith and trust Him wholly (with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength) as He works through the process of brings us into a restored state of well being.
Let us pray: Lord God, You who are great and grand, I come to You right now and boldly say that I put my trust in You. I trust You to bring restoration and healing to all areas of my life. If whole restoration or healing is not received on the first touch, I will continue to trust You in bringing it all to closure in accordance to Your timing and will for my life plan. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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R. A. Gómez