Lesson 40

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

8:22 He came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him. 8:23 He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. When he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything.

8:24 He looked up, and said, "I see men; for I see them like trees walking."

8:25 Then again he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly. 8:26 He sent him away to his house, saying, "Don't enter into the village, nor tell anyone in the village."  

Today's Lesson 

Today's Scriptures represent another of the healing miracles of Jesus Christ. Mark has written that Jesus has healed those with fever, has made the paralytic whole, has cured a man of leprosy and caused the deaf to hear. In this story Jesus heals a blind man and restores his vision. But this is a unique story among the healing miracles. This is the only miracles recorded where someone is healed in two stages.


When Jesus and the disciples entered the Galilean town of Bethsaida, the people there brought out a man who was blind. Jesus brought the man out of the village, spit on his eyes and asked the man if he could see. The man said that he could see something. He saw men and they looked like trees walking. Then Jesus laid His hands on the man's eyes and his sight was fully restored. Jesus told him not to enter the village and not to tell anyone about what had happened.


This is the only miracle recorded in the New Testament that occurs in two stages like this. It is tempting to think, and I have heard some people teach, that Jesus failed to heal the man fully the first time. But, a better interpretation of this event is that Jesus chose to heal this particular affliction in two stages. It was not meant to demonstrate a failure. It was meant to demonstrate a lesson.


Sometimes when God accomplishes something, He does it in stages. God saves us completely but we also experience drawing near to Him in stages. Our experience is one of progressive sanctification. Sometimes we "feel" more holy and sometimes we "feel" as though we are slipping back into bad habits. God has the power to completely change us, but most of the time He allows us to experience holiness in stages. Sometimes we escape a particular sin in our lives in stages. We struggle and pray and God relieves us of one aspect but we do not have complete deliverance. If we are not completely healed and delivered, it is no reason to lose faith. For some things God works in stages.


How do we know when God will chose to deliver us in stages and when He will do so completely? We can't know. The choice is God's. He decides based on His own sovereign choice. If God chooses to work in our life in stages, we cannot be resentful or think that God has in some way failed. Rather, just as in this situation, we must look at our situations not as failures, but as lessons to be learned.


Will you allow God to deliver you in His own time? Will you wait faithfully on His grace and His mercy?


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