Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Even Enter the Village

Mark 8:22-26 (ESV) And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. [23] And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" [24] And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." [25] Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. [26] And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." “Do not even enter the village.” Sometimes you get the impression Jesus isn’t for evangelism. He’s always telling people not to tell about him. Of course he instructs the disciples to do quite the opposite before his ascension. But while on earth, during his earthly ministry, he was cautious. Perhaps he worried for this man’s own safety. Perhaps he was getting tired of the crowds. Jesus does that, gets fatigued. His humanity shows through. Ever see celebrities get upset with the Paparazzi? Well This is Jesus trying to avoid them. Of course, he could have just avoided healing the man all together. One gets the impression he wanted to do that, the people had to beg him. But he doesn’t compassion mercy and love over rule. Jesus can’t just turn away, he heals the man. Perhaps though, there is another angle on this. Jesus just is not going to blow his own horn. He doesn’t need everyone in the world to know every good deed he does. He doesn’t do it for the glory. He does it out of love. He doesn’t want others seeing it. And too often that is where Christians mess up. They can’t help chasing the glory and earthly rewards that go along with doing good here on earth. And they receive their rewards. Sometimes it can’t be helped. But Jesus knows better than to chase the fleeting glory of this world.


Anonymous said...

I'm always fascinated by this miracle. The apparent "mistake" by Jesus and the half completed miracle he perfects second time around. I know there's a lesson in it, and was disappointed you did not weigh-in.

Bror Erickson said...

Well Anon,
Really wish people would leave names, really wish blogspot would make it easier for them to do this.

I guess I'm not sure what lesson there is in it. I mean I read it, and read it, and find that most commentaries are a bit stumped.
Jesus heals the man and gives him sight. One wonders why he asks what he asks, and why it seems to take him to tries. I couldn't give you an answer if I wanted to, which I actually kind of do. Perhaps it's a comment on the man's faith? He half believes, then when that pans out he fully believes and gains full sight?
We know the man wasn't blind from birth, but it doesn't tell us how the man went blind. We know, because the man knows enough to know that what he is seeing is people and not trees, even though they look like trees. Those blind from birth wouldn't know the difference.
Some talk about the spittle, mud and so forth as a reference to how Jesus uses means, like the sacraments. He could have just said "see" and made the man see, but he spits and uses mud, which was a common attempt at a cure among Jewish physicians at the time. One wonders how often that worked? Might try it later today.... Or I might wait for the U of U to put me into the test group for that new procedure, I can't wait for them to fix my eyes!
In any case Jesus healed the man. And I hope that helps you too.