March 15, 2020

A Dance with Two Steps

Mark 8:22-26

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.

—  Mark 8:25

A blind man at Bethsaida met Jesus. Jesus restored the man’s sight, but the curious thing about this story is that Jesus did not restore the man’s sight all at once. After Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes for the first time, the man said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” So it sounds like he could see, but things looked blurry. Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes a second time, and then the man “saw everything clearly.”

A lot of people who read this story puzzle over why Jesus would heal the man in two stages and not just all at once. Some people guess that Jesus gave the man his vision the first time, and it just took the man’s eyes a while to get adjusted. Some people guess that by restoring the man’s sight in two stages, Jesus was illustrating how his disciples would first figure out that he was the Messiah, and then later they would see clearly that the Messiah must suffer by dying on the cross. (Those topics follow this passage in Mark 8.)

At its core, though, this story tells of another miracle that shows Jesus’ power to heal—no matter how Jesus chooses to do it! Jesus can heal in one step or two steps, and sometimes in our lives Jesus even gives us hundreds of little steps toward healing.

God, we trust in your power to heal in the name of Jesus. Whether that happens all at once or through a process that may not be complete in our lifetime, give us grace and the assurance of life forever with you. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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