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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


I Can See Clearly Now!

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 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. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.” (Mark 8:24-26, NIV)

I know exactly how this formerly blind man felt after Jesus had partially restored his sight.

Several weeks ago I had cataract surgery. First, the left eye. Then a week later, the right eye. Both times the affected eye was covered with a bandage for a day. What a relief to get the patch off and know that the doctor had not blinded me!

But there has been a remarkable change in my vision. Before cataract surgery, I too saw men as trees walking. Now my vision is dramatically improved. I see clearly with just a minimal boost from my new eyeglasses.

In the healing of the Bethsaida blind man, at first instance after Jesus had spit on his eyes and laid hands on them, the man answered truthfully that he still could not see clearly. Credit him with being honest. He might have chosen instead to try to please Jesus by acting like he had good eyesight: “O, thank You, Jesus! I now can see! O, it’s so wonderful!” But he didn’t fake his healing nor did he confess that he could now see clearly when he could not.

This time Jesus chose not to spit on the man’s eyes, but to simply again place His hands on them. Full sight was restored.

This is the only progressive healing recorded by Mark — all the others occur instantaneously. Why this miracle required two actions by the Lord is not clear. But, there is a clue.

In just a few days (Mark 8:27-29), the disciples would begin also to see clearly who Jesus was. Their spiritual sight had taken more than two years to develop. The healing of the Bethsaida blind man in two stages shows also that sometimes coming to spiritual sight takes time.

One of my friends came to Christ out of a pretty dreadful past of bondage to destructive attitudes and actions. He found that he did not gain deliverance all at once over these things that had had such a stronghold on him. He said to me, “It took me awhile to fall into these habits, and it’s taken me awhile to fall out of them.”

It would be wonderful if all bad thoughts and deeds were cured instantly at conversion. And Jesus often does grant complete and immediate deliverance. However, just as with the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, Jesus may use a process instead of giving deliverance all at once.

We must avoid the danger of trying to program the Lord, of holding Him to a rigid expectation of what He should do in all circumstances. We can see only the moment. He sees the distance. And because He sees further, He knows best what to do in the present.

The citizens of Bethsaida, as a whole, rejected Jesus (Matthew 11:21). That explains why Jesus told the healed blind man to not even go back into town, but to just go to his own home. The folk at Bethsaida missed the chance of a lifetime when they turned their backs on Jesus.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, Your first touch is salvation, and Your final touch is the resurrection of my body. In between those two healings, I often see through a glass darkly or partially. But the Day is coming when I shall see, even as I am seen by You!

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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