I had to sit here and think about this passage this morning. On the surface it seems as though Jesus goofed a little trying to heal a blind man. Took Him two attempts to get it right.
Now, just in case you think for a minute that’s what is revealed in these verses, think again. God doesn’t “goof.” He doesn’t fail – EVER – and have to try again.
So why was the man partially healed before he was completely healed?
The first thing I notice is that the blind man didn’t beg Jesus to heal him. His friends did. So I believe Jesus needed to address the man’s own faith.
So we see the man allowing Jesus to lead him outside the city. Scripture doesn’t identify it as such, but I believe this demonstrates the man’s faith. He probably expected to be healed right there in the city like everyone else. Instead, he followed Jesus some distance without being healed, without turning back, not even knowing where Jesus was leading. That speaks faith to me.
Secondly, it doesn’t appear that Jesus spoke with the blind man at all before he spit on the blind eyes and touched the blind man. His first words seem to be the question, “Can you see anything now.” The man answers, “Yes. Kind of.”
Was he disappointed? Maybe he thought seeing a little was better than not seeing anything at all. But it certainly couldn’t have been what he’d expected from Jesus who had the reputation for healing all kinds of people. His answer seems to indicate acceptance. I think it reveals faith, because he didn’t walk away. He allowed Jesus to touch Him once again.
This time he was completely healed.
Makes me wonder how I’ve reacted to prayers not answered exactly as I expected. What do I do if God doesn’t answer as quickly as I had hoped? Do I accept the process? Or do I get frustrated at the necessary steps it takes to have my prayers answered according to the will of God?
Why does God often use chemo and radiation, a long and painful process, to heal cancer? Why do our wayward children sometimes take years and thousands of steps before they return to faith? Why don’t marriages heal, conflicts disappear, ministries bear fruit the moment we pray?
I think there are lots of reasons, lots of lessons to be learned, lots of people to be touched by the process as they see the faith of God’s children not waiver.
Oh, to be able to see God’s hand as clearly as the man we read about today. Oh, to trust the process because we trust the Lord!