In Mark 8:22-26, there’s an odd story – one that I’ve struggled with for quite some time.  Jesus comes to Bethsaida, and some people bring a blind man to be healed.  Of course, this is not unusual.  People were always bringing somebody to Jesus for healing.  What’s so different about this one is what Jesus does.  Normally, Jesus would just say the word, and the man would be healed.  Sometimes, he would even touch him.  However, in this instance, Jesus spits on his eyes – which is odd enough – and then lays hands on him… twice.

I struggled with this passage because at first glance it seems like Jesus is unable to heal the man.  That doesn’t exactly fit with what we have seen from other healings.  When we have an interpretation that doesn’t seem to fit with what else we see in Scripture, then maybe it’s time to revisit our interpretation.  So, that’s what I did – I revisited my understanding of this passage, and it hit me.  This is a transitional passage.

Up to this point, the disciples have been struggling with who Jesus is.  Things seem to happen, and they don’t quite understand it.  In the passages to come, we see at least a little more understanding.  In fact, Jesus asks them, “Who do you say I am?”  To which Peter answers, “You are the Christ.”  They start to get a better understanding of who Jesus is… but not quite.  We see, as the gospel unfolds, that they just don’t quite understand what it means for Jesus to be the Christ.  Peter pulls Jesus aside and rebukes him; Jesus calls him out, and then at the beginning of Mark 9, we see the episode of the Transfiguration – Jesus is transformed before the eyes of some of his disciples; they see him more clearly.

So, this passage in Mark is not about how Jesus wasn’t able to heal a blind guy on the first try, but it’s foreshadowing Jesus’ interactions with his disciples… and also with us.

Many times, at first glance, we think we know who Jesus is, but when more is revealed, we get confused.  We need to revisit our interpretation.  So, who do you say Jesus is?  Are you willing to revisit that if necessary?

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