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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Blind Man At Bethsaida (8:22-26)

INTRODUCTION

1. Among the many people Jesus healed included the blind...
   a. As foretold by Isaiah - cf. Lk 4:18
   b. Offered as evidence to John the Baptist - cf. Lk 7:20-22

2. The healing of a blind man in our text is unique in two ways...
   a. It is found only in Mark's gospel
   b. It is the only miracle by that occurs in two stages

[Opening our Bibles to our text (Mk 8:22-26), let's first examine...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. JESUS ARRIVES IN BETHSAIDA...
      1. Bethsaida Julias, near where the 5000 had been fed - Mk 8:22;
         cf. Lk 9:10
      2. On the NE side of the Sea of Galilee, near the entrance of the
         Jordan

   B. A BLIND MAN IS BROUGHT TO HIM...
      1. By those who begged Jesus to touch him - Mk 8:22
      2. By concerned friends, similar to those who brought the
         paralytic - cf. Mk 2:3

   C. JESUS TAKES HIM OUT OF THE TOWN...
      1. Leading the blind man by the hand - Mk 8:23
      2. Similar to what He did with the deaf mute - cf. Mk 7:33

   D. JESUS HEALS HIM IN TWO STAGES...
      1. Stage one - Mk 8:23-24
         a. Jesus spat on his eyes and then touched him
            1) Similar to what He did with the deaf mute - cf. Mk 7:33
            2) Perhaps to convey to the blind man His intentions
            3) The spit - His intention was to heal, saliva was thought
               to have medicinal properties
            4) The touch - "Something will be done for your eyes...and I
               will do it."
         b. When asked if he saw anything, he looked up and said, "I see
            men like trees, walking"
      2. Stage two - Mk 8:25
         a. Jesus put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up
         b. His sight was completely restored and saw everyone clearly

   E. JESUS SENDS HIM AWAY WITH AN ADMONITION...
      1. To his house, not into town, not to tell anyone - Mk 8:26
      2. Similar to earlier admonitions following His healings - cf. Mk
         1:44; 5:43; 7:36
      3. Undue attention would hinder His ability to travel and do His
         work
      4. Especially by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians - cf.
         Mk 8:11

[With the account of this unusual miracle fresh on our minds, allow me
to share...]

II. SOME OBSERVATIONS

   A. WE DO NOT KNOW WHY JESUS DID IT THIS WAY...
      1. Why take the blind man out of the town of Bethsaida?
         a. To avoid publicity?
         b. To establish a one-to-one relationship with the man?
         c. Because Bethsaida had been judged already? - cf. Mt 11:21-22
      2. Why didn't the man receive perfect sight immediately?
         a. Was it the spiritual condition of the man himself?
         b. Was it to illustrate the slow progress of the disciples'
            faith? - cf. Mk 8:18
      -- Any explanation is speculation at best

   B. THE LORD DOES NOT ALWAYS DO THINGS THE SAME WAY...
      1. Jesus healed at least eight blind men, using a variety of
         approaches
         a. Two men were healed by a simple touch of their eyes - Mt
            9:27-31
         b. A blind and mute man was simply healed - Mt 12:22
         c. Two more blind men were healed by a simple touch of the eyes
            - Mt 20:30-34
         d. In our text, the blind man was healed with touch and
            spittle, in two stages - Mk 8:22-26
         e. Blind Bartimaeus was healed with but a simple word - Mk
            10:46-52
         f. A blind man was healed with the anointment of the eyes with
            clay and spittle, followed by washing in the pool of Siloam
            - Jn 9:1-7
      2. Similarly, prayer is not always answered the same way
         a. God may say "yes" and the prayer answer immediately
         b. God may say "yes, but wait awhile"
         c. God may say "yes, but not in the way you expect"
      -- Faith is content to receive God's working, however He deems
         proper

   C. SPIRITUAL GROWTH OCCURS IN STAGES...
      1. Similar to how this particular miracle occurred
      2. Such was the case with Jesus' disciples - cf. Mk 8:18
      3. So we should expect our spiritual growth to take time - cf. 1Co
         3:1-2; 2Pe 3:18
      -- Faith is patient, understanding that important things often
         take time

CONCLUSION

1. Many commentators have noted our similarity with "The Blind Man At
   Bethsaida"...
   a. We are spiritually blinded by sin, in need of "healing" - Ro 3:23
   b. We need the special attention of Jesus to be "healed" - Mt
      11:28-30; Mk 16:15-16; Col 2:11-13
   c. When Jesus "heals" us of spiritual blindness, it may take awhile
      to see clearly - He 5:12-14

2. Are you still in sin...?
   a. Blinded by sin, and alienated from the life of God? - cf. Ep
      4:17-19
   b. Then you need Jesus to be renewed in righteousness and holiness
      - cf. Ep 4:20-24

Begin by coming to Jesus through obedience to His gospel, and continue
by walking with Him, seeing more clearly day by day...!
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