Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Daily - 2/18/09

Mark 8:22-26

22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.

23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, "Do you see anything?"

24 Looking up he replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking."

25 Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

26 Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."

Consider the pattern of readings that we've discussed from Mark 8 so far. Christ multiplied loaves to feed four thousand. He leaves that location. At the next stop, the Pharisees argue with Christ, and ask him for a sign from heaven, which Christ declines to give. Then Christ & the disciples got back in their boat, where Christ tries to teach the disciples about the Pharisees, and they completely miss the point. Christ's words in verse 21 (yesterday's daily) were "Do you not yet understand?"

Think about that sequence and then consider the reading. They get off the boat, and he heals a blind man. Note the nature of the healing -- the first time the blind man opens his eyes, he sees "people looking like trees and walking." Christ has placed hands on him, but he can't fully see -- just like the disciples couldn't fully understand Christ's nature. Christ had to lay hands on Him again for him to see everything clearly. He has to do that with us too.

This helps illustrate why Christ didn't want to be proclaimed as the Messiah at this point in his ministry. He had so many people yet to reach, and so much teaching yet to do. The disciples had witnessed several miracles, but still could only see part of the picture. There was a lot of worked left before his identity as Messiah could be proclaimed.

Aside - "people looking like trees and walking." I wonder if that's how Tolkein came up with the Ents in Lord of the Rings?