Do you remember that time that Jesus spit on a blind man’s eyes?
Yeah… Jesus did that.
It is one of those stories that has to be true, because if it wasn’t, why would you put it in there. It is not something I would think to do. But that is exactly what we find in Mark 8:23.
Apparently, some people brought this man to Jesus and asked him to heal the man’s blindness. Jesus led the man out of the village and then spit on his eyes. He asked the man if he could see. The man answered yes, but that the picture wasn’t very clear. He could see people, but they looked like walking trees.
Jesus then touched the man’s eyes and his vision was completely restored.
This really is a curious story. Why did Jesus go through the trouble of only “partially” healing the man the first time, only to finish the job with a second effort? I think it has to do with the instructions that Jesus gave the man.
After the healing, Jesus tells the man to go home, but not to go back to the village. You see, there was something about that village, something in that village that causes Jesus great concern. The healing did not take place in the village, but outside the village. And after the healing was completed the man was sent away from the village. But there was an intermediary step. Jesus revealed something to the man about the people in the village. He called them walking trees.
Now, I am not going to make up some meaning as to what Jesus could have wanted the man to know, but the man seemed to heed the warning.
At least on the surface of things we can say that trees aren’t supposed to walk. But these did. That would imply that there was something unnatural going on there. Something that would have been an obstacle to both the man’s healing (therefore his removal prior to “partial” healing) and his growing faith (as revealed by the question after the “partial” healing).
We all desire to see. To know what is going on around us. But, sometimes our vision is impaired by something that is right in front of us but remains veiled for some reason. Because of this, it takes a “partial” removal of the problem to expose it.
In this season of uncertainty, we are being confronted with a global blindness. We do not know what is happening or why. But for those of us who trust in Jesus we must ask ourselves, what is God revealing to us in this intermediary step? What are the walking trees that are being exposed that we must walk away from?
In this season of Lent, let us pray that as we prepare for the completion of the healing Jesus promises, we take notice of what God is trying to help us to see.