Mark 8:22-26 “And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”
When you read a passage in Scripture, read before and after to find the context. This particular passage is rich in context. Jesus has just taken 7 loaves of bread and a few morsels of meat to feed over 4000 men. There were even leftovers enough to feed His disciples for a while.
After He has ministered to the thousands, He ministers one on one to His disciples. He tells them to beware of the leaven of Herod. Herod means ‘hero’. Other men took that name because they wanted to be a savior of the people.
The disciples got caught on the leaven and thought He was chiding them because they hadn’t brought more bread. Jesus is talking about a principle: the people have eyes, but they don’t see, they have a heart, but no understanding in their hearts. Jesus asked them if they weren’t there when He caused bread enough to feed 5000.
Jesus IS the Provider. He doesn’t need anything to bless you. All you need is your I AM. He is trying to teach them a valuable lesson of Who HE IS.
This is the context from which we get to Bethsaida. There is faith in the house because they bring a blind man right to Him. They have seen Jesus do miracle after miracle. Faith is operating. They say, ‘Just touch him. That’s all he needs.’
When Jesus began to do the miracle for this blind man, He did things differently this time. He took the individual by the hand and led him outside the town. The miracle was to begin with repentance. So, the shame wasn’t in front of his friends. Jesus knew of the needs, but He didn’t want to intimidate or embarrass. If something needs to be exposed, God will usually not do it in a public situation. He led the blind man outside the town.
Jesus started with spitting in this blind man’s eyes. Spitting! When God does something, there is a purpose for why He does it. Every time in the Scripture there is spit, it speaks of shame. It was about people who should have behaved properly and didn’t.
What is happening here?
Mat 11:20-23 “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum are three cities mentioned. Authority comes from God and from the people. It’s the authority of the people (the lack, rather) that hindered His work.
There is a reason God brings healing and miracles to us. Not just so we will feel better, it is for the ultimate knowledge that He is your Savior. The miracles are to show Who He IS.
The people don’t want to live for Him or serve Him. They don’t want to change or commit, they just want a show. In order for Jesus to minister to this individual and to teach a message to the town, He takes him out and spits to bring shame.
The Bible mentions two main reasons God allowed sickness pre-Calvary, because of the sins of the former generations or because of individual sins. Now, Jesus allows sickness to bring glory to God. The Lord uses sickness to produce ministry, character, and the ability to minister to others.
There is a purpose for this miracle and you must repent in order to be healed.
Then, Jesus spits in his eyes and asks what he sees. He replies, ‘I see men walking as trees.’ It looks like a partial miracle, but there’s more to it than that.
A man at the age of 3 got three diseases, meningitis, polio, and cat scratch fever. From the age of 3 he was blind. He grew up and was bold, got married, had children and grandchildren. In the 90’s there was a new procedure of retinal transplant. This man was a perfect candidate.
He had the procedure done and the first thing that he saw was brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, the doctor’s tie! Then, he looked at his wife. A look of fear came on his face because she was a total stranger. He did not recognize her. She immediately began talking to him and touched him. He realized that this was his wife, her voice and touch matching what he had heard.
Previously, he had no visual memory. He had no context for his brain to explain what he was seeing.
This man began to go out of the doctor’s office and saw cars but didn’t realize that’s what they were. Again, he was terrified he was going to be hit. His wife told him to shut his eyes and remember. He had no depth perception. He stumbled up steps and fell often. His vision was the same as ours, but because of lack of visual memory he struggled with depth and dimension. Standing under a tree and looking up amazed him most. He had experienced it through his ears and smells and touch, but not with his eyes.
Trees walking… This man who was blind that Jesus healed had no memory of what He was seeing. He had no visual memory at all. He had no understanding of what he was seeing. Jesus caused him to look up and see that which was spiritual, not natural.
Jesus touched his mind and it was as if he had never been blind. It is a miracle of wholeness. Jesus gives a whole miracle. He makes it as if the hurt never happened at all. This is something we see not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual realm.
The first time in an Apostolic service, you see but don’t understand. There is a power there. Jesus is there and you must go back!
The only way you can have understanding is through a revelation from God. It is God who gives wisdom and understanding. God will touch you again and bring revelation to you. But, a touch always constitutes repentance. We’ve got to start with repentance. We’ve got to continually pursue Him, not just for a moment, but for the rest of our lives.
If we become content with where we are at, we need to repent and stir the flames back up in our lives.
Lord, spit on me! I need to feel good, godly shame right where I’m at, whether it’s things I’ve done or things I haven’t done that I should have. Miracles aren’t meant only for my comfort, they are meant to bring God glory and to draw us closer to Him.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Tim Greene.
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