Two applications of spit and hands are required for this healing. Why would Jesus need to touch the man twice?
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Here is another passage of scripture that I’ve no doubt read, but missed the significance and perhaps the meaning of its placement. Some people bring a blind man to Jesus, begging him to touch and heal the man. Jesus’ fame was spreading quickly. This man had friends or family that heard about his healing ministry and sought him out to heal yet another blind man.
The twist in this story is that it takes two applications of Jesus spit and touch to restore the man’s sight. After the first application, the man said, “I see people, they look like trees walking around.” He wasn’t quite healed, but he could see something. Something is better than nothing, but that’s not the same as being healed! Jesus repeats the process, “once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes.” Now the healing is complete, the man’s sight is completely restored.
The question I have to ask myself is why? Why does it take two applications here when other miracles, even more dramatic healing, happens without Jesus even being present? Like many things in life, the answer is simple, but at the same time it is hard to understand: God’s will.
The variety of healing, teaching, miracles, people, etc., throughout the Bible are there for us to understand that God is the God of all people, of all situations and circumstances. Some things will take a great deal of effort while others the stroke of a pencil.
Some observations after reading Matthew Henry’s notes: Perhaps the blind man himself had little faith in anyone, let alone Jesus, could heal his sight–his faith was weak. His friends demanded the meeting and must have insisted all along the way that Jesus could heal him, but the man was blind! I’m sure he felt defeated as a man who could not look after his family or be anything other than a burden to his friends. Depression must have overwhelmed him. His friends heard about Jesus and are convinced this is the opportunity of a lifetime, the know Jesus can heal him.
His friends, not the blind man, have faith.
Many times are we encouraged to just invite people to come to church and let the Holy Spirit speak to their hearts. We get discouraged when they say no or, worse yet, they come, but are not overly impressed with the music or sermon or people (or coffee or donuts). They don’t see clearly what was just spoken. They see people like trees walking around. This miracle suggests it might take more than one invitation, one more prayer, some consistent action on the part of the faithful to help those of weaker faith to see the light.
His friends never wavered. The brought him to Jesus. Jesus led him out of town and there was no argument or discontent, they had faith that Jesus knew what he was doing. Their faith supported their friend. Wow! We need to learn this lesson well!!
The first application of saliva and touch moves the man from blindness to seeing things about him. Perhaps there is a spark of hope in the man’s heart now, a glimmer of light where only darkness prevailed before. Imagine his surprise, his friends might be right, this Jewish Rabbi might actually be able to cure him of blindness!
The second application completes the physical task, the man can see clearly. The burden of blindness was released, he could now see. It could have been seven times or 40 times and it may take us a hundred times to move someone from complete blindness to a glimmer of hope.
The post this morning rambles a bit, probably because I woke up too early, but I find it amazing how God speaks through his Word. I looked a my selected reading today and thought, it’s only a few verses, perhaps I should choose the next section. Once again, the value in slowing down and really reading a few verses makes all the difference. Praise God for his patience with us–especially me!