Summary: The New Testament records Jesus healing seven different blind men. And in each case He employed a different method. God is a God of variety. He seldom saves two people the same way.
You might recognize the title from the television series, “Friday Night Lights.” When I moved from Alabama twenty-four years ago I thought High School football was big there, but I soon learned that, like everything else, High School football is HUGE in Texas. The movie “Friday Night Lights” was based on the dynasty of Permian High School in Odessa. But in the television series that ran from 2006 through 2011, the action was set in a fictional town named Dillon, Texas. I really enjoyed watching the show. For you other Friday Night Lights fans, here are a couple of trivia facts. The show was mostly filmed in Austin, and the stadium used in the series is Pflugerville High School. Before the series began, Lindsay Lohan was offered a leading role, but she declined saying she wanted to concentrate on her movie career. Let me know how that’s working out!
In the locker room of the Dillon Panthers, their slogan was painted on the wall: CLEAR EYES. FULL HEARTS. CAN’T LOSE. Peter Berg, the show’s writer and producer, created the slogan. In 2012, Mitt Romney used that slogan for part of his campaign without giving any credit to the source. When Peter Berg heard about it, he contact the campaign and told them the phrase was plagiarized it they did not have his permission to use it.
So in the interest of full disclosure, I am citing that the source of this motto is Peter Berg. But that’s the phrase that came to my mind when I read this miracle of Jesus healing a blind man. After encountering Jesus, the man had clear eyes, a full heart, and he couldn’t lose.
Mark 8:22-26. “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Don’t go into the village.’”
In 1972 Johnny Nash recorded his one-hit wonder, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” That’s what this double miracle is all about. The blind man was touched, but he couldn’t see clearly, so Jesus touched him again. Actually, Jesus touched him three different times, and these three touches teach us how God wants to deal with each one of us. Let’s examine each touch.
I. THE FIRST TOUCH OF CONVICTION
Some friends brought the blind man to Jesus and the Bible says, “He took the blind man by the hand and let him outside the village.”
They are in the city of Bethsaida, which is at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Here’s the first lesson we learn:
A. Jesus wants to lead you away from unbelief
Bethsaida was a city full of unbelief. As I travel to Israel, I’ve noticed something unusual. Many of the cities that existed during the ministry of Jesus are still thriving cities. Tiberius is still a lively city. Cana, Jericho, and Bethlehem are all large cities. But there are two particular cities that are nothing but a bunch of ruins now. Those two cities are Capernaum and Bethsaida. Why is that?
The answer is because these were cities of unbelief. Jesus said, “Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” (Luke 10:13) And in the next verse Jesus says that same thing about Capernaum. These cities rejected Jesus and now they lie in ruins. It’s dangerous for a person or a city to reject Jesus.
Jesus wants to lead you away from unbelief and that’s called conviction. Before Jesus returned to heaven, He told the disciples He would send the Holy Spirit. He had been WITH the disciples, but the Holy Spirit would live IN them. One of the main roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin and unbelief. Jesus said, “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” (John 16:8) Before Jesus can work in your life, you must realize that you are sinner and that you need forgiveness. In John 6:44 Jesus said no man can come to him unless the Father draws him. That’s conviction. The second lesson is:
B. Jesus wants to relate to you on a personal level
Jesus led Him away from and unbelieving city, and then He dealt with him personally. Have you ever noticed in the Bible that Jesus never conducted any mass healing services? He always dealt with people individually. Jesus doesn’t save groups of people, or families. He saves individuals. Sometimes people think they are Christians because they were born in a Christian home. But being born in a Christian home doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being born in an airport makes you an airplane. God only has children, no grandchildren. You must have a personal encounter with Jesus.