Bible Reading Blog — February 9, 2016

9 Feb

Today’s Readings — Numbers 28-31 & Mark 8:22-24

Today’s reading from Mark’s gospel has always intrigued me.

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 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?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” (ESV)

Why did Jesus do this miracle in this way? Was He not powerful enough to heal the man instantly? Of course we know He was, so what explains this miracle? I believe this miracle functions as sort of an acted parable. Just as the blind man is healed so that he gradually comes to see, so Jesus’ followers were gradually coming to see who He was. If you look at these first 8 chapters of Mark you see that the disciples, when they see Jesus’ works and hear His words, marvel, but are also confused. Gradually, as Jesus does one wonder after another, they are coming to understand who He is in reality. This understanding will culminate in the very next passage in chapter 8, where Peter acknowledges Jesus’ true identity as the Christ. Thus Jesus used this healing to illustrate what had been going on in the lives of His disciples as they considered who He was and His kingdom mission.

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