Key Text: Mark 8:22-26
Philip, Peter, Andrew, James and John were all from the fishing town of Bethsaida, it means “place of fish.”. It was one of the ten cities known as the “Decapolis.” Located on the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum. Bethsaida Galilee, is one that came under Christ’s contempt in Mt. 11:21, “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Isaiah had foretold that the Messiah would give sight to the blind, physically and spiritually, Isaiah 29:18, And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. Many times Jesus healed the blind, see a few more examples , Mk 10:46-52, Mt 9:27-31, 15:29-31, Jon 9:1-7.
Spit was used with a few miracles, Mk. 7:33, John 9:6. We are told that for us, oil is an acceptable way to approach God for healing via the prayers of Elders, James 5:14, Mark 6:13. But more prominent in meaning, may be the apparent difference in scripture between the use of God’s spit, and the way man’s spit is used. Mt. 26:67, 27:30, Mk. 10:34, 14:65, Luke 18:32. For us to spit on someone, is to show disgust and hate, this is true amongst the Jews in the Old Testament, Dt. 25:9. But Jesus emphasizes his compassion towards this man, so perhaps his spit is directed towards God’s disdain for disease. He showed the same compassion towards the deaf & mute man in Mk. 7:33-35. This miracle is full of signs of compassion, but yet hate for the pain & suffering caused by the ailment. Be gentle as doves and wise as serpents, Mt. 10:16.
1, Jesus takes the blind man out of town to lessen the spectacle & enigma.
2, Jesus leads him by the hand to help.
3, Jesus may be using spit to help heighten the mans expectation that he is about to be healed.
4, Jesus tells him to go home, instead of publicizing the event.Our work for the Lord should be sensitive to the concerns of the needy.
The only deductive reasons we can offer for the progressive nature of this miracle, is the fact Mark uniquely records about the blind man being brought by friends. It may be implied that the blind man had no faith in Jesus, or maybe Jesus knew the man would be sent into shock if he received his sight immediately, or maybe his blindness made him feel depressed and discouraged from having any hope? If this is true, perhaps Jesus is trying to be powerfully merciful to someone who is not altogether convinced of His mercy? How hard is it for us to do good and help someone who does not want our help? Practically impossible for us, but Jesus perseveres!