They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
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.
Who were these people who brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Jesus to heal him? Why didn’t the blind man come on his own? Did these people seize the man by the arm and drag him to Jesus in order to see a miracle? To be entertained by this strange, holy healer?
We are those people wanting to be amused, seeking the fascinating, but not willing to seek the Fascinator.
Perhaps Jesus saw the hearts of these people who wanted only to test his power or be amused. Perhaps he saw the crowd forming. Thus, he took the blind man by the hand–a gentle way to lead a person–and led him outside the village, away from those who wanted to use the man for sport.
And there, Jesus healed the man. In two awkward steps. Spit and a touch. Why couldn’t Jesus skip the spit and simply touch away the blindness? Because Jesus wanted to give the man an opportunity to enter in to the healing process. To come on his own, in a sense, by answering Jesus’s question, “Do you see anything?”
The man could have replied, “Thanks anyway. It didn’t quite work.” But instead, he answers with honest faith, “I see men like trees, walking around.” In these words, I hear an invitation for Jesus to touch his eyes again. I hear the anticipation that sight is coming and is almost there.
Am I inviting Jesus by the words that I speak, by my responses to his questions?
Then Jesus touches the man’s eyes once more, and sight is restored. The man is sent home, not into the village. In other words, Jesus doesn’t want the man to subject himself to questioners, naysayers, or people who may steal his joy and cause him to sin.
Don’t (as Psalm 1 says) “walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”
But go home. Go home physically, and go home in your heart . . . to belief in Jesus.
Jesus’s works aren’t for our entertainment. They are faith-fuel for our hearts. They point us to him so that we can give our lives to him.
When Jesus asks us if we see anything, what will we say? Will we see an invitation to follow him or will we see a miracle for our amusement?