I remember a time in my life believing “the rules” of Christianity were too much. God really wants a tithe, 10% of my money? And if I wanted to be generous, I had to give more than that? Or when someone told me they studied their Bible before church, I thought, so now going to church isn’t enough? You also have to read your Bible that day too?
Looking back, my concerns weren’t really about what I perceived as “rules” for Christianity, rather, it was about how I measured up. I was easily offended because these things made me feel inferior and hurt the good Christian status I had assigned to myself.
I had such partial sight.
Before Jesus rebuked Peter for seeing things from a human perspective and not God’s perspective, he healed a blind man in two stages. Jesus had been in a boat with his disciples, his tribe of men who had spent so much time with him, seen his miracles and heard his words. Jesus gave them a warning about the Pharisees, but even this close group didn’t get it. Jesus questioned them, “Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – can’t you see?” (Mark 8:17-18)
They got off the boat, and a blind man was brought to Jesus. The text doesn’t say, but I imagine disciples went with Jesus as he brought the blind man out of the village. “When (Jesus) had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’” (Mark 8:23-24)
Just a little time with Jesus, and the man had partial physical sight. The disciples had been with Jesus, and they had partial spiritual sight for who Jesus was and what he taught. I was getting to know Jesus, and I had partial spiritual sight towards what I understood about his call to follow him.
What happens next is so simple, so easy to overlook, yet it’s the single most important thing the man could have done. The blind man stayed with Jesus for a bit longer.
He didn’t leave, disappointed that he only received partial sight, doubting the power of this man Jesus. And he didn’t run away, satisfied with his partial sight or believing he had full sight.
“Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:25)
Would Jesus not do the same thing for us today, would he not give us eyes to see, if we just stick around him a little bit longer?
The blind man was restored to full physical sight. The disciples would soon be given full spiritual sight after the death and resurrection of Jesus. And I, after more time in my Bible, more time of letting God soften my heart, and simply more time with Jesus, am gaining fuller spiritual sight myself.
Read: Mark 8:22-26
Stepping in: Imagine, what do you think it was like for the blind man to have Jesus take him by the hand, and for Jesus to put his hands on the blind man’s eyes? If Jesus would create such an intimate moment with this man, what do you think it suggests about how our relationship with Jesus can be?
Journeying further: In what ways do you have partial sight? How do you think God might answer your prayer for complete sight in a situation?