TWO STAGE HEALING
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spat on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ (Mark 8:23-24 NIV)
There are some Bible scholars who wonder why Jesus does a what is known as a 2-stage healing of this blind man. Jesus is in the town of Bethsaida, which is located north of the Sea of Galilee. They bring him a blind man. Jesus takes this man outside the village. Jesus spits on the man’s eyes. He puts his hands on him. He asks him if he sees anything. The blind man tells Jesus that he sees people, but they look like trees walking. It is obvious that this man was not blind all his life. He knows what trees look like!
Yet this blind man is not totally cured. He is still partially blind. He can see people, but they look like trees walking. The man is in in the process of being healed. Jesus takes him to a private place. He does not heal him in a crowd. I think that sometimes when we read the healings of Jesus in the Gospels, we forget this reality. Jesus is speaking to each of us personally. He takes us outside the village and talks to us personally. Jesus might heal in public places, but he is talking to the individual.
We return to the idea of the 2-stage healing. After the man says that he sees people like trees walking, this is what Jesus does for him. 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 NIV) Twice Jesus puts his hands on the eyes of this man. He finally gets cured. Why does Jesus do a 2-stage healing of this man? I ask, why not? I believe that we live in a consumer-based world which demands immediate answers. If you are thirsty, go to a pop vending machine and get your drink immediately. If you need something, just drive to the grocery store. If you need information, do a search on your computer. I wonder what this man thought, when he could only see people as trees walking. Was he anxious that he was still partially blind?
Sometimes we stand in the shoes of this man when he sees people as trees walking. We can partially see. We see people as trees walking. Very often, God does not reveal everything to us. We don’t have the complete answers. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, we are still in the dark side of the tunnel. We are not completely healed. This is where faith comes in. We must also remember that Jesus is talking to us outside the village. He is personally attending to us.