For my devotional reading today, I read Mark 8:22-26. It details for us Jesus healing a blind man. This particular healing by Christ is differs from others mentioned in the gospels. This one is progressive in nature rather than instantaneous. Christ initially applies spit to the man’s eyes and lays hands on him and asks the man if he can see. The man reports that he sees men, “…like trees, walking around.” Christ then lays His hands on the man again and the man’s sight is restored and the man begins to see things clearly.
As one reads this passage, the question naturally arises, why did this healing take place in a progressive way? We know from the other healings recorded in the gospels that it certainly was not because our Lord did not have the capability to heal this man instantly. It was not because our Lord was too weak that day. So what was going on? I believe it unfolded as it did because the Lord wants us to learn some things about how He operates.
First, we need to know there is no specific formula He works by. Yes, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His nature never changes; His character never changes; He is always Holy, always righteous always full of compassion, but He is not required to do things in the very same manner each and every time. Just because He has healed some blind people instantaneously without the involvement of spittle does not mean He is obligated to observe the same practice and pace every time.
Secondly, not only does the Lord have full liberty to do things His way but He also does them in His time. With this man, Jesus took the time to walk him out of town before even beginning to address his needs. Perhaps the walk out of town and the gradual steps to this healing allowed this man to grow in faith. Perhaps the walk took him further away from naysayer and negative people who would have squelched the man’s faith in the Lord’s willingness and ability to work in his life. Perhaps this man’s belief and hope began to become stronger as his sight was being restored. Maybe our Lord was giving him the opportunity to marvel in wonder at the way God was walking with him and continuing to work steadily with him as his sight was being restored. Maybe our Lord was allowing him to develop a testimony that would strengthen him later in life when other seasons of waiting for a blessing would be necessary.
Finally, I think that the Lord gave us this unfolding, progressive healing so that we can be comforted and encouraged. We can be comforted and encouraged because that is the way God typically works in our lives. We are generally relieved of our spiritual blindness little by little. Our healing, our growth, and our maturity typically takes place in a progressive manner. I love reading about the way the Lord walked with this man and worked with this man because it comforts me and tells me that my Lord will finish what He starts in my life. The bible says Philippians 1:6
Phil 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
I am confident of this very thing; I serve a God who won’t let me down. I know that if you place your faith and trust in Him, He won’t let you down either. I hope you have a blessed week.