And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Mark 8:22-26 ESV
We know that the Lord has the power and ability to completely restore with a single touch, even with just a single word spoken (as we see in the case of the Roman Centurion). So we can know that this is not a case where the sickness or infirmity was beyond His ability to heal immediately, because He is all powerful.
So there is a purpose, a lesson, in this second touch — for this man and for us.
Some might quickly say, “But the man’s faith wasn’t sufficient!” And we have scriptural evidence demonstrating that Jesus didn’t perform many miracles in his own hometown because of their lack of faith. But we have no mention of this man’s faith or lack of faith, so that could be dangerous presumption and aging to the scriptures. And since we’r know that “Faith is a gift of God that no man might boast” that type of presumption might lead the proud and the religious zealot to a wrong application of this passage that has them comparing one wretched sinner against another — instead of in humble awe of God.
So what is of interesting note is that it doesn’t mention that the man himself asked Jesus to be healed, does it? It says, “some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.”
We are not told whether these people just found a local blind man and brought him along with them sho that they could see a show of miracles — or whether they genuinely cared about this man and genuinely had faith that Jesus would heal him. They could have been seeking after signs and wonders and “testing” Jesus with a blind stranger they barely knew — or they could have been holding out hope ands faith that Jesus would heal their friend from his infirmity.
When comparing this account to the story of the men losing their friend through the roof, we can see the difference in the description of the account and in how Jesus behaved and spoke from one instance to the next. Jesus didn’t perform the miracle right then and there when the people brought him, Jesus “took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village”. And after he is fully healed by the second touch, Jesus tells him, “Do not even enter the village.” That seems like another important point, don’t you think? Doesn’t it demonstrate that Jesus made a specific effort and gave specific instructions to insure that this blind man given sight wasn’t “just for show”?
Jesus took the time to lead him out of the city. Jesus touched the man and spoke with him and listened to his answers, and then touched him again and made him whole, and then sent him home with instructions to make it clear to the man that this miracle was for the benefit of the man, not to fulfill the cravings of those seeking a show, and not even for Jesus to draw a crowd — but it was to be an important, intimate, life changing experience between the Lord and a man.
Someone needs to remember this today.
He isn’t looking to make a big religious show. He wants time with you. He is willing to be patient with us. He will give us a second touch. He will speak with us one on one when we walk with Him.