Summary: What is it that vision brings, how are we able to clarify the situation and be empowered. Hopefully this sermon brings some understanding to this.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.23 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?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 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. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.”
In Marks gospel we get this depiction of Jesus and the disciples arriving at Bethsaida a town in Israel which is near the Sea of Galilee. So this for Jesus and most of the disciples is near home this is their old stamping ground, you’ll probably remember Jesus calling some of the disciples from their nets at the Sea of Galilee.
So here they are in this town of Bethsaida and some people bring Jesus a blind man but not only do they bring this bloke to Jesus they ask in quite a persuasive way; “is Jesus willing to do the deed too touch and heal this bloke?”
So Jesus takes the blind bloke by the hand and leads him out of the village. Now the question arises why he would take him out of the village to heal him.
Well there are a couple of different tacks we can take on this; the first is this:
a) That Jesus is sensitive to the man’s requirements he knows he’s blind and he knows that he is going to heal him. That when he is healed the process could be a bit confusing so he wants to get him away from the business and busyness of the village and out in to wide open spaces.
b) The second idea is that the village itself had previously rejected Jesus teaching and did so while knowing the miraculous things he had done. He says in Matthew’s gospel. (Matthew 11:21-22)
Woe to you, Korazin! 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 in sackcloth and ashes. 2 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you.
There’s a bit more as Matthew opens up where we see this village was unrepentant. This could well be why Jesus says after the healing for the bloke for him not to go into the village. Interestingly Jesus miracles were not always welcomed. Just as in this day we often see that great things done in his name are not always welcome. We know in the Salvation Army, that ‘reforming society’, even when it has huge long term benefits for all people is not always welcome and we come up against opposition.
So if we just hold that in the place it is, let’s think about how Jesus healed this bloke.
1) Well for a start he spits in the blokes eyes. Now this is in our day and age a pretty strange going on. “How are you doing?” “Not so good, I’m blind”, “Well how about I just lob a goober in your eyes, that should sort it out.”
Back in the day they believed in the healing powers of spit, today you burn a finger where does it go straight in the mouth. The term “Let me kiss it better” comes from this sort of background.
The important thing here is that Jesus spat in the blokes eyes, he touched the man, and he healed the man, well to an extent. “Do you see anything?” “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
Something was happening in the man’s physical that had happened because of his interactions with Jesus.
This might have been the healed man’s thinking; “A couple of minutes ago before Jesus did what he did I couldn’t see spit, then he spat, since Jesus touch I see people walking around and they look like trees. Now that’s better than being blind. Fuzzy vision is better than nothing.” I can see!
This bloke understood that they were people walking around they may have looked like trees, but they were people and he knew it. Through Jesus healing touch he had vision and understanding.
Did Jesus say to the bloke my works done here in Chapter eight; I’m off to chapter nine, sorry but I’m pretty busy. I must be off, I’m due for the transfiguration, I can’t keep Elijah and Moses waiting and I’ve got to sort out some evil spirits that keep throwing a kid on the ground. See you round mate.