Tuesday, October 31

A Second Touch

Scripture: Job 22, Mark 7-8

Mark 8:23-25 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. After spitting on the man’s eyes, Jesus placed his hands on him and asked him, “Can you see anything?”

The man looked up and said, “Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking around.”

Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes. This time the man looked intently, his eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly.

Observation/application

Why did it take a second touch from Jesus to heal this blind man?  Every other healing by Jesus happened instantly, not in stages.  Why is this one different?

Some think that it had to do with the man’s faith.  His faith was small, but grew after the first touch.  Possible—but there is no mention of his faith in the passage, and if that was the point, you’d think Mark would mention it.

Others think that Mark has placed this story here to make a point about the disciples’ spiritual blindness.  The story that precedes it is Jesus warning them of the yeast of Pharisees, and they completely miss the point and think Jesus is talking about literal bread.  That story ends with Jesus asking them, “And you still don’t understand?”

The story that follows is Jesus revealing that He is the messiah (Who do you say that I am?) and then Peter rebuking Jesus when He tells them He is going to suffer and die.

Both stories show the disciples’ spiritual blindness—a blindness that was healed in stages.  So some think that this healing story is sandwiched by Mark (one of his favorite techniques, used often in his gospel) to let us know that for the disciples (and all of us) it often takes more than one touch from Jesus to heal our spiritual blindness.

Notice too that Jesus didn’t ask the man what caused his blindness; He simply cured him.  And Jesus didn’t blame the man for not being able to see at first, or only see partially after the first touch; Jesus just touched him again and healed him.

My takeaway: I need a second touch…every day…over and over.  I’m very much a work in progress.  So I want to keep coming to Jesus, and keep asking Him, “Touch me again; make me whole.”

Prayer: Touch me again Lord…and again and again and again.  Keep touching me and make me whole!