Today in Mark we look at Mark 8:22-26:
Jesus Cures a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” 24 And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”
This is the second time we see Jesus heal someone by using spit or saliva. We talked a good bit in the day about why Jesus chose to use saliva as an instrument of healing. I think there is much to be said about the notion of Jesus using “modern” understandings of medicine for other’s benefit as well the notion that He is showing illness and disease who is really in control.
But here is the thing that is significant about this text to me. Notice Jesus takes the man out of town to heal him and then after the healing tells him to not even go back into the town. Why? Why did Jesus do this great act in private? Many of His other miracles, particularly early in His ministry were done in public so everyone could see.
Now, this is in private with the express directions to not ever go into town and tell others. Why?
Well, the people of Jesus day were looking for a Messiah. They were looking for a savior. They were looking for a King from the line of David. In fact at times some people will even call Him the Son of David. What is happening here is they are saying yes, you are the one that is to come from David’s line.
You will be a king just like David!
And for the people, David was the greatest earthly king the people had ever had. He was it. He was the icon of what a king should be. All other kings would measure up against him. And when that promised king from David’s line would come, he would drive out their oppressors. He would restore the fortunes of Israel and make them great again.
He would restore the kingdom.
But, as Jesus tells us, His kingdom is not of this world. Yes, He is a king, but it is not of an earthly kingdom. It is a heavenly kingdom.
So why did Jesus do this in private and tell others not to tell. Because they didn’t understand the kingdom Jesus was going to bring. So He did these healings in secret. He did them in private. Because they didn’t understand the kingdom Jesus was coming to bring.
We will see tomorrow, that even His closest disciples didn’t get it just yet.
So, when I read these stories, the question I always have to ask myself is this. What do I do when Jesus isn’t what I expect Him to be? What do I do when Jesus’ plan, His will, His purpose aren’t what I would have done myself?
Do I buck Him? Or do I trust? That’s always the question. What do we do when Jesus doesn’t do what we expect.
Today, and each day, may we learn to trust.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 8:27-38.
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