Let us contemplate today the story of a blind man who was brought to Jesus to be healed. As Jesus came to the town of Bethsaida, we are told of this incredible encounter between the Lord and an unnamed man who couldn't see. Mark 8:22-25 relates what happened:
"...He [Jesus] 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 upon his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw aught [ or anything]. 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."
I believe this is one of the most incredible passages in all of Scripture. The reason being because it is a picture of our coming to Christ to be healed within our souls. Let's look at this a bit more in detail...
Once we are introduced to the characters - Jesus and a blind man - one of the first things we notice is that Christ removes him from the hustle and bustle of town and wants to be with the man one-on-one:
"...he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town..."
Here we see Jesus establishing relationship with the blind man. He could've simply spoken to him in the midst of the crowd or done some impersonal gesture that allowed him to be healed but, instead, He interacts with him in an inter-personal way, speaking to him on an individual basis.
The next thing we observe is that the man's sight was restored by degrees. Jesus didn't heal him instantly, although he could've. Rather, we find that He spits on his eyes, lays His hands on him, and asks him if he can see. Initially, the man can only see in part: people look like trees walking, from his perspective, but a touch from the Son of God reveals his full sight.
As a side-note, it is interesting to point out that each time Jesus touched him, He asked him to look up. I would highly doubt that it was simply to gaze into the sky or spot a bird flying past. Instead, He wanted the man to gaze into the face of his Savior. He wanted that to be the first thing that blind man ever laid eyes on. Imagine not being able to see. The Bible doesn't say for how long he had been blind - perhaps from birth or maybe just for a few years - but I would guess that his condition had been with him for awhile. And yet, the first image he beholds as a healed human being is that of Jesus Christ!
From this story, we are enabled to pull out three truths that give us a glimpse into God's character and the way He interacts with hurting souls like us:
Firstly, before He can heal the wounds of our past, God has to establish a relationship with us. We must know God even as He knows us. God is not an impersonal God, as we sometimes tend to believe. He cares deeply about every single aspect of our lives. Both the big things and the small never go unnoticed by Him. Because of that, He desires to share an intimate relationship with us. He has to remove us from the distractions of the crowd - work, social life, even family at times - and get us one-on-one. Like the blind man, He gently takes our hand and leads us away. Away from everything that would stand in the way of our being able to hear and sense the presence of the Savior in our lives.
Secondly, we must realize that spiritual sight and wellness will not come to us instantly. We must be healed by degrees. At certain points in the journey, we see only in part. We can't view ourselves correctly, God correctly, or others correctly. It is like the blind man seeing people that look like walking trees. Our perspective is improving, but things still aren't clear to us. However, if God is at the center of our spiritual recovery, they will become clear in time.
Lastly, our healing will be incomplete if we miss one vital part: before our sight can be fully restored, before our lives can be made whole, we must look up. We must gaze into the face of the One who redeems us and enables us to become fully alive. Christ is the starting point. He is the beginning of every journey to wholeness. Without Him leading the way, we are at a hopeless end. Just like the blind man, we must look into the eyes of our Savior and see the grace and love that is waiting there for us. Only then will we have gained our true sight.