Thursday 23 September 2021
Title: I see people, they look like trees walking (Mark 8:24)
By Choong Yoon Tong
Mark 8:22-26 narrates a strange healing incident in Bethsaida, a town Jesus had rebuked for their unrepentant hearts despite seeing many miracles (Mt 11:21). For the only time, the healing appears unsuccessful. Jesus spit on his eyes and laid hand on him but the man only regained blur vision, seeing people like trees walking. No, it was not that Jesus’ power had left Him momentarily. The blind man was brought in by others who appeared to be more eager for the healing than the patient himself. Jesus was patient and led him away from the village of the doubtful and sinful crowd that He may reveal His power to him personally. The blind man’s unbelief probably was the cause that he was not healed completely at first. Jesus was merciful to touch and heal him again.
In a subsequent event at Jericho, another blind man, Bartimaeus, who had faith in Jesus cried out for His attention. Without touching him, the beggar recovered his sight because his faith has made him well. (Mk 10:46-52)
Intercalated between these two events, the disciples’ faith was shallow like the first blind man, despite following Jesus all this time. They could not understand His prophesy of death and resurrection (Mk 8:31-38, 9:32). They were dumbfounded by the transfiguration, faithless to cast out demons (Mk 9:18-19), squabbling about who was the greatest and wrongly restricting children from coming to Christ. Despite the personal touch from Jesus, they were like the first blind man who saw people like trees walking; they could not see clearly who Jesus was nor understand His plan of salvation.
Without faith it is impossible to please him. We must have faith like Bartimaeus, the beggar who cried out to Jesus, “Lord have mercy on me, let me recover my sight.”
Dear Lord, let not the current depressing pandemic and economic situation blind my faith in You. Open my eyes that I may continue to trust in You; knowing that You are sovereign and have greater plans for Your kingdom and Your people beyond my perception. I trust You and bless You Lord. May You also heal this nation that those spiritually blind will receive their sight and turn to You for salvation. Amen.
马可福音8：22-26敍述了在伯赛大城发生的一件奇怪的医治事件，之前耶稣曾斥责城内的人尽管看过许多神迹，但依然不愿悔改。（马太 11: 21 ）这是唯一看似不成功的一次——耶稣吐唾沫在瞎子的眼睛，并按手在他身上，但那人只获得模糊的视力，看到人好像树木，并且行走。不！这并非因为耶稣的能力暂时离开了祂！带瞎子来求医的人显得比瞎子本人更积极，耶稣很有耐心，将瞎子带离村庄，离开那些充满罪恶和不信的人，好让祂亲自向他展示自己的大能，瞎子的不信可能就是他最初没有得到完全康复的原因，慈爱的耶稣再次触摸他，并把他治愈。
门徒虽然一直跟随着耶稣，但在这两件医治事件之间，他们的信心却是像第一个瞎子那样肤浅: 无法理解耶稣对死亡和复活的预言（马可8: 31 -38，9：32 ）、对耶稣的改变形象目瞪口呆、没有足够信心赶鬼（马可9： 18-19 ）、争论谁伟大、更错误地不让小孩走近耶稣。尽管有耶稣亲自带领和教导，他们依然像第一个瞎子看到人像在行走的树木，看不清耶稣是谁，也无法理解祂的救恩计划。