Summary: The best things in life take time. Our relationships are like that. In order to have a meaningful and lasting relationship, we must spend time building that relationship. You can't get to know someone overnight. You must invest the time.
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him.
23 Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.”
25 Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.
26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Jesus healed 7 blind men in the bible. But, this is the only progressive miracle recorded in the bible.
The best things in life take time. Our relationships are like that. In order to have a meaningful and lasting relationship, we must spend time building that relationship. Not all of us have instant faith. Sometimes faith must grow. But it certainly is worth nurturing and worth waiting for.
God always deals with His people on the basis of faith. And that means we do not always get what we need from God instantly. Sometimes things come gradually as our faith grows. But that's OK. We will see in our text today, how the blind man of Bethsaida received his sight through the repeated touch of the Savior's hand. What he got he did not get instantly. But he did get it. It came, not all at once, but gradually. He needed more than a single touch, a first touch, but he needed a second touch. We need that, too. Sometimes, we must come again and again. The encouraging news is that God is a God of the Second Touch.
The incident of the blind man of Bethsaida is a wonderful story of how God deals differently with different people. It is the story of healing. But unlike many of Jesus' healings, this one did not occur instantly. There was a developing process involved in this healing. This story communicates to us the needed truth that God deals with each of us on the basis of what we need. Just as we are not all stamped out of the same mold, so God's miracles do not come in "cookie-cutter fashion." Just as we are not a machine, so God does not deal with us with a method. He meets each of us personally, where we are, and deals with us as individuals.
The Expectations of People
"And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Him, and entreated Him to touch him." (v. 22)
When Jesus comes to Bethsaida, He is met by a group of people with a blind man in tow. These people undoubtedly wanted to see the blind man healed. And so they began to ask Jesus to touch him. What we see here are the expectations of people, as those expectations relate to God and His work. All of us have expectations in this regard, and it may well benefit us to look at the expectations we have, to see whether they are indeed accurate and reasonable.
What were these people's expectations in reference to God? We can only speculate as to their views based on certain evidence in Scripture about the region. Bethsaida was not on our Lord's list of the top ten best cities in Israel. We have every indication from Scripture that it was an insensitive and hardened area. In Matthew 11:21, Jesus cries out and says,
21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
This indeed was a strong rebuke from our Lord. Undoubtedly, great miracles had occurred in Bethsaida, and they had only hardened their heart. No repentance had occurred. They were spiritually insensitive. Perhaps this may account for Jesus' command to this blind man after He had healed him, in verse 26, where He says, "Do not even enter the village." Maybe they were so perverted that he didn’t want the healed one to contaminate himself by going there again. Or, perhaps these people only wanted to see God perform again as a spectacle, with no desire for God encounter for themselves. Perhaps all they wanted to see was another miracle to tantalize their senses. We can only speculate.
People have all kinds of expectations about God. Many see Him not as an appliance repairman, but as a divine life repairman, who is there entirely for our benefit. To some, we have a right to expect from God anything we want, whether it is right or not. Some see God as a kind of heavenly vending machine, where you put your money in, pull the right levers, and get what you want. Other people believe that since God exists we shouldn’t have trouble, pain, or illness. That death should never happen. This is why it is so important for us to study what the Bible has to say about God. We say we worship God. But what kind of God do we worship? One of our own devising? One that we would prefer to worship? One that is here only to serve us? Or the God revealed in Scripture, the true God?