Read Mark 8:22-26.
Jesus comes to a town called Bethsaida on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. In typical fashion, he meets someone who needs him to heal them. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus. He took the blind man away from the village. Similar to the story of the deaf and mute man in chapter 7, Jesus speaks to him in a way that he can comprehend. The man cannot see, so Jesus touches him. He spits in his eyes, as disgusting as that is, and then puts his hands on him. He takes the man away from the crowds and Jesus leads him through a two-stage progression of regaining his site. We should again be reminded of Isaiah 35:4-6, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened…”
Jesus is demonstrating what happens with the Kingdom of God comes. The deaf hear, the mute speaks, and the blind see. This story is certainly illustrative of the disciples’ blindness in a figurative manner. In verse 18 it says their eyes do not see and their ears and do not hear, but this is a sign that soon they are about to begin to regain their sight. It won’t be immediate, but will come progressively. But more importantly, this passage is teaching us who Jesus is. All through Mark’s Gospel we have learned different aspects of Jesus’ character and identity. In chapter 7 and here in 8 we are learning in a new way that Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God with authority because he is the King. Because he has come, the Kingdom has come. Because he has come, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the blind see. But he didn’t just come for this. These physical signs are pointing to the time of redemption and restoration that Jesus is bringing. Very soon in Mark’s Gospel, we are going to learn, that this restoration doesn’t happen through Jesus overthrowing the Pharisees, Herod, and Rome to take their throne. Jesus does not overthrow them, but submits to them, and they kill him. The King dies at the hands of his usurpers. But, Jesus rises from the dead, to take a heavenly throne, higher that Rome or any other Kingdom. In his resurrection he works redemption for all who believe and repent and makes a way for us to be included in his heavenly Kingdom. For those who believe and repent, we wait for him to finish his work, and we pray, your will be done on earth as in heaven.