Seeing Clearly

Mark 8:22-26 has been a puzzling passage.  It describes Jesus attempting to heal a blind man, but Jesus is only partially successful – so he has to give it another try.  What’s the point?  Is Jesus unable to properly heal in this instance?  Could blindness get the better of Jesus if it was stubborn?

 Maybe, but that’s not why we are given the story.  Rather, it is a real life parable of the disciples inability to see clearly who Jesus truly was.  They were in the process of seeing who he was, but not all the way there.

The blind man, after the first try, says, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”  In 8:29, Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter replies, “You are the Messiah.”  True enough.

But just a few verses later, Jesus tells the disciples that he had to suffer and die as the messiah.  Peter does not agree, and corrects Jesus.  By the definition of the day, Peter was right – the Messiah would not have to suffer and die.  But Jesus, as he does with so many things, turns the role of the Messiah upside down.  Peter sees, but not yet clearly.  Clarity would not come until Jesus suffers, dies, and is raised from the dead.

One of my jobs is helping people see clearly.  Yet even as I try, I often get frustrated at people for their inablity to see clearly.  But it wasn’t until the disciples understood the death and resurrection of Christ that they got it.  So too, people today do not see clearly until God reveals Himself through His Spirit.  Thus, even though my job is to help people see clearly, it’s ultimately up to God. 

It’s a good thing it’s up to Him, too… ‘cuz sometimes I don’t see all that clearly, either.

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