Jesus heals blind man twice?


#1

Mark 8:23-25 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. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

I guess I’m just looking for some ideas about the significance of Jesus:

  1. Taking the blind man out of town
  2. Laying his hands on his eyes a second time in order to make him see clearly.

In most if not all other instances, Jesus heals people right where they are, but instead in this passage he takes the man out of town. And in all other healings, they are healed immediately (example Mark 7:34-35), but in this instance he’s not.

Any ideas or insights?..


#2

This may be too technical, but blindness often has two components: eyes that can’t see, and a mind that does not know how to see (usually, when someone was born blind).

This has surfaced since eye-restoring surgery became possible in the 1900s: adults who had grown up blind might find it difficult learning to use their “new” eyes. Sometimes, this process would fail and they’d revert to blindness.

So it could be that this particular eyes-opening, unlike other instances in Scripture, was a two-stage process: the eyes (he could see unclearly), then the mind.

Our LORD could easily have bypassed the need for the second stage, obviously; but the example, ISTM, is that not every negative in our lives corrects at once, sometimes stages are required; and sometimes, when our own minds or wills are involved, we ourselves need to participate or cooperate in the healing, therefore additional time is needed.

Just my MX$2.

ICXC NIKA


#3

As to walking him out of town, this might have been just to give him 1 on 1 attention…
ICXC NIKA


#4

I asked this same question years ago on here. :o Click that link to read some of the answers.

In hindsight, I think the meaning can be manifold. I do think part of it is a reflection of how God revealed to a certain degree in the Old Testament and more fully in the New. I think the passage can help us not be discouraged if we don’t grasp something right away as God works with us in our current stage. I think the incident fortifies the Catholic concept of development of doctrine, that not all facets of a truth are exposed at once. One could probably go on about the significance of being revealed truths one piece at a time.


#5

Questions like these are the primary reason I use study Bibles.

The notes in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible say this:

Mark 8:22-26: A unique miracle performed in stages. It has multiple significance in Mark: Jesus not only healed the man, but he also heals the spiritual deafness and blindness of the disciples (8:18-21). Although they are still uncertain about his true identity, Jesus sharpens their vision to recognize him as the Messiah in the following episode (8:29). Allegorically (St. Bede, in Marcum), Jesus heals the blind man to announce the mystery of redemption. As God incarnate, Jesus heals man through the sacrament of his human nature, here signified by the hands and spittle. This grace cures our spiritual blindness gradually, and, as with the blind man, progress is measured in proportion to our faith. Allegorically (St. Jerome, homily 79), the restoration of the blind man signifies our gradual increase in wisdom, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of truth. Christ’s spittle is the perfect doctrine that proceeds from his mouth; it enhances our vision and brings us progressively to the knowledge of God.

My NABRE Study Bible says this:

Mark 8:22-26: Jesus’ actions and the gradual cure o fthe blind man probably have the same purpose as in the case of the deaf man (Mark 7:31-37). Some commentators regard the cure as an intended symbol of the gradual enlightenment of the disciples concerning Jesus’ messiahship.


#6

Thanks for the responses. It definitely makes a little more sense to me now and makes for some interesting pondering and meditation.


#7

Haydock commentary.

Ver. 23. It may be asked, why our Lord led the man from the multitude before he cured him? — It may be answered, that he did it not to seem to perform his prodigies through vain glory; and thence to teach us to shun the empty praises of men: 2dly, to facilitate recollection, and to give himself to prayer, before he cured the blind man; and lastly, he went out of the city because the inhabitants of Bethsaida had already rendered themselves unworthy of the miracles of Christ. For among them our Saviour had wrought many miracles, yet they would not believe. (St. Matthew xi. 21.) (Tirinus) (Theophylactus) — Dionysius says, that Jesus led him from the multitude to shew that if a sinner, figured by the blind man, wishes to be converted from his evil ways, he must first leave all immediate occasions and inducements to sin. (Dionysius)

Ver. 24. Men[1] as trees walking. In the Latin text, walking may agree either with men, or with trees, but the Greek shews that walking must be referred to men. Perhaps Christ restored sight in this manner to the man by degrees, to make him more sensible of the benefit; or to teach us how difficult is a sinner’s conversion; of which this was a figure. (Witham)

Ver. 25. Our Saviour made use of exterior signs in the performance of his miracles to command attention, and to signify the inward effects of the favours grants: these the Catholic Church, after the example of her Founder and Model, also uses in the celebration of her sacraments, and for the same purposes. Nor ought any supercilious and superficial reasoner to undervalue and contemn the corporal and external application of holy things, under the hollow plea, that we are exclusively to attend to the spirit and faith.


#8

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