5

According to Mark 8:22

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So 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 on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Here we see Jesus asking the blind man if he had been healed. Jesus again lays His hands on the blind man and he gets healed. Why did Jesus have to ask the blind man if he had been healed? Why wasn't the blind man restored completely the first time?

7

This was apparently Jesus way of teaching us that our rewards are commensurate with our faith:

All Scriptures are from the King James translation.

In verse 24 the man could see but only partially, that was probably because he had heard of Jesus healing power, but was still skeptical.

In verse 25 he had experienced Jesus healing power, and then expected that Jesus did have the power to completely heal his blindness, and the second time he had full faith, and was completely healed.

We have more information about the rewards being equal to our belief in:

Matthew 9:28 through 30

28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

We today are privileged to see that truth demonstrated in the lives of the faithful, Have you noticed that those who are the most dedicated to the Lord have the happiest marriages and are the richest in his blessings?

Even though the most of them are not well off in worldly goods they do have all of their needs met, and they seem to have an extra measure of peace and happiness.

Those people also seem to be content with what the Lord gives them and are never envious of others worldly possessions, but are genuinely happy for the others gains, just as Jesus decreed in:

Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

So taken together we learn that:

God already knows what we need, and he will give us our needs, but there is actually more to it than that.

Jesus also told us that we should ask the father 'daily':

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:29 (above)"according to your faith".

Several years ago four friends and I decided to put those scriptures to the test, and began by agreeing that to start with 10% of everything was God's portion, and that if we were to make an offering it had to be more than that 10%. None of us was well off by earthly standards, and as a matter of fact we were actually only living from paycheck to paycheck. None of us thought we could get by even giving the 10% let alone anything over that. We did agree though that we would start by giving that 10% right off the top.

I am sad to say that I was the only one who began by keeping that promise at first. At the end of the first month we got together again as we had promised to do, and compared how we were doing. After the first month I was the only one who had met all of my bills and still had money left over. As a thank you to the lord I took that overage and had the pastor give it to someone needy.

The next month all four of the others followed our agreement and each found that they finished the month with a few dollars left over.

Since that day we have all continued in our agreement of giving our tithe first and when we have extra give some to the needy, either through the Church or some charity, and the five of us have not had financial worries since, we are far from being wealthy, but we are happy and content and peaceful.

My reason for telling you this is not to start a stampede to give, but to let you know that Jesus meant exactly what he said, and if you take him at his word and trust him he will show you blessings commensurate with your faith.

I do feel it is necessary to tell you that we did not do this just to test whether or not the Lord would give us the desires of our hearts, but to see if our condition would improve despite no other things changing, such as some unexpected income, or bills being mysteriously lowered. I cannot vouch for the others but in my case it was to demonstrate that I had enough faith to trust that God would meet my needs, which he did. I hope that the others faith was strengthened enough by my circumstance that they also expected that God would meet their needs.

Not only that but just as with the blind man in verse 24 he will strengthen your faith as you see him give blessings in accordance with the trust you place in him.

| improve this answer | |
3

Just to add some more examples of Jesus doing (only) as much as people asked/believed. These (allusions—they are not the complete story) are instances where Jesus did only what people asked him to do, even though he certainly could have done more.

The centurion told Jesus he didn't need to come to his house, he could heal his servant from afar.

Matthew 8:13 (NASB)
And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.”

The old woman who believed that if she only touched Jesus' cloak, she would be healed.

Matthew 9:22 (NASB) (parallel: Mark 5:29-34)
But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.”

A foreign woman begs Jesus for help, recognizing her secondary position as a non-Israelite.

Matthew 15:28 (NASB)
Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.”

| improve this answer | |
  • Why do you state that the woman in Matt 9:22 was old.? – Kris Mar 22 '19 at 3:35
1

I think it's best to start by eliminating some wrong answers.

Jesus's healing power is not dependent upon the recipient's faith

Jesus healed people who either did not know who he was (John 9) or who otherwise had no expectation of being healed (John 5), and we know that true faith is not possible without first knowing the object of your faith (Heb 11:6). In Mark 4:39-40 Jesus delivered his disciples from the storm, while also chiding them for their lack of faith. To name just one OT example, in 2 Kings 5 the same Godhead healed a scornfully faithless Naaman. And it further stands to reason that those healed at the outset of Jesus's itinerant ministry, when Jesus had not yet developed a reputation as a healer (such as the man with the unclean spirit in Mark 1:21-28), would not yet have had reason to believe Jesus could heal them.

I think it's clear from these examples that, while God often chooses to act commensurately with peoples' faith, he is in no way hindered or limited if his subject doesn't "meet the minimum threshold," so to speak.

Jesus did not try to heal completely, yet fail

This is the same Jesus who, in chapter 2 of Mark's Gospel, put the teachers of the law on blast by calling out their private thoughts, and then calling his own shot.

Mark 2:5-12 (NASB) And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

The spectacle left the crowds with no doubt as to his power or to his heavenly authority - Jesus had some serious ability, and moxie. And all of his other miracles of healing were immediately effective, demonstrating that he was not merely crossing his fingers every time and hoping for it to work.

So what gives in this case?

Jesus's healing was not immediately completely effective, and through his question in vs 23 ("Do you see anything?") he seemed cognizant that this healing would be different from his others.

I will not presume to speak for our Lord and savior as to why he chose to do it differently this time. Instead, let's examine how this account fits into the context of Mark's broader narrative. And in that light, two things stick out to me:

  • This account is recorded only in Mark's gospel
  • This account immediately precedes Mark's record of Peter's confession and subsequent rebuke

In the absence of divine insight into Jesus's mind, I think it's best to understand this account as a parable of sorts, providing a physical illustration for the spiritual truth of the ensuing episode. The blind man was indeed healed immediately to some extent, but complete healing came later. In the same way, Peter's confession in 8:29 demonstrates some level of spiritual knowledge ("You are the Christ" - see also Matthew 16:16-17). But as demonstrated in his rebuke of Jesus in 8:32 and Jesus's reciprocal rebuke in 8:33, Peter did not yet fully understand Jesus's plans, or the reasons for them.

Just as there are differing degrees of physical blindness, there are differing degrees of spiritual blindness.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks, that is a helpful parallel with Peter. – curiousdannii Jan 2 at 7:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.