I had the opportunity to share something I learnt on a Whatsapp group chat… It was something I enjoyed learning and so I turned the Bible Study into a blog post. Enjoy.
I encountered the bible passage in a TV series I started last week. In the series, the bible passage came up when a girl asked her mother why Jesus’ miracle didn’t work the first time.
Mark 8:22-26 NLT
“When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.””
I remember my pastor’s wife (Debbie) once said that everything Jesus did on earth (that appears in the Bible) was to lead us back to The Kingdom of God. With this understanding, I was certain what Jesus did in Mark 8:22-26 was intentional. I went back and forth with this scripture, trying to figure out the link to The Kingdom of God, a number of issues came up and those are the ones I’m sharing.
I don’t think what I’ve learnt is all that there is to the passage, but I’ll go ahead and share it anyway. 😁
I think to some extent, or entirely, Jesus’ encounter with the blind man in the above quoted passage was a miniature version/manifestation of His mandate/purpose for coming down to earth.
>>>Encounter >>>Cleansing >>>Reconciliation >>>Redirection >>>Accountability
Encounter: Jesus came into the village, and the blind man was brought to Him and they pleaded with Jesus to heal Him. Jesus has made Himself available to us to take us back to God, He made the first step… the next is ours.
Cleansing: The first thing that stood out to me was how Jesus led the blind man out of the village. Was it because He couldn’t successfully cure him there? What was that significance? Was it deep? Or Jesus just wanted a change of environment? Usually, where we are before we meet Jesus isn’t pleasing… we have to move out of that environment and be made empty.
-Just like the point Jesus was driving at when He whipped the fever people out of the Temple. After He made the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He went to the temple and looked around… then He went and came back and drove the people away… I don’t know why He gave them grace period 😂
“So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.” Mark 11:11 NLT
(Then he cursed the fig tree – then shortly afterwards)
“When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves,” Mark 11:15 NLT
Reconciliation: Jesus set out to give the blind man his sight back. For the purpose of this study, the blind man signifies the lost sons of God- men and women who have lost their position in The Kingdom of God.
-Jesus spat on His eyes, and asked Him if he was ok, the guy said no… he said he wanted double portion (well, not exactly-but you get the point, right?)
-I don’t know how the man got blind or whether he could see before, but these were drawn to my attention:
How did the blind man know that there was something wrong with what he was seeing? Why didn’t he just accept that he could see? Why was there a ‘but’???
“The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”” Mark 8:24 NLT
It’s not that Jesus can’t restore sight at a go, but He shows us His love and desires us to desire to go further. He desires for you to get to the point where you acknowledge that you _need Him_ to see things clearer.
After the blind man received his vision, Jesus asked him to go home, but not through the village. I think this point is direct. After the encounter, cleansing and reconciliation, how could you possibly fit into the place you were saved from?
When you learn, and accept your identity as a kingdom man or woman, you are given a purpose and we are expected to walk in it.
Accountability: So, the Bible makes several references to us being trees. (Jer:17.7-8, Psalm 1:3, among others) A very season-relevant scripture that talks about trees is Jesus’ encounter with the fig tree. That happened the day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and just before He went to clear the temple of all fever men and women.
Every kingdom man and woman will give account at the judgment seat of Christ of how well we fulfilled our God-given tasks on this earth. Jesus cursing the fig tree is a symbolic summary of how the Godhead feels about a fruitless tree – a fruitless child of God.
Bonus point: Why did the blind man see men…as trees…walking around??? Trees are supposed to be rooted (and since the Bible refers to men as trees, let’s understand that we are talking about men here) So as kingdom men and women, we are to be rooted/ planted… not walking/moving around… – rooted in Christ/His word/Truth. As a tree, if you’re walking around, you’re not performing in your right or living out your role or doing what you are supposed to be doing- as such, you’re not living up to God’s expectation of you – like the fig tree.
Maybe that’s another reason why Jesus had to separate the blind man from the lot, so he sees the lot as they are, and say it- (for our benefit), maybe Jesus wanted him to be taken out of their association, so he could get rooted. (Same difference)
Also, it may be that you are rooted alright, but not rooted in the right things. Like rooted in worry, financial status, career goals, marriage goals, and by being rooted in that, we’re practically going to be just another fig tree. So I’ve talked plenty about the significance of this passage to our mandate of populating the Kingdom of God….
We have all been in “blind man’s” shoes before. If not, (you should get in them quickly) Some of us may still be blind, others may be encountering Christ, some are being cleansed, others are at the point where we are pressing deeper and others have been redirected. No matter where we find ourselves,
How’s our mission to populate the Kingdom of God, going? Do the other blind men see men who are like trees, walking around? Are we confusing them? Are we rooted in the right place? Are we making the wrong stops on the way home? Have we heeded the call to come back to The Kingdom? And how are we helping others hear the call?
This is why Jesus died… as we mark his death and resurrection, let’s think abaddit.