“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 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. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.””
Mark 8:22-26 NKJV
I see men like trees walking (Metamorphopsia)
I love the Bible. The more I read it, the more I run into those wonderful nuggets, those little hints that the Lord Jesus is the Maker of us all. Reading Mark chapter eight, I read of the healing of the blind man. The Lord encountered the man blind from birth, and showed mercy, bringing healing.
There are many who desire to dispute the existence of God, pressing origin stories that seek to contend that something was rendered from nothing, and that everything is but a happy accident with no Creator.
There are still others who desire to see a miracle, an immediate action that clearly shows the work of the Lord. These are people after a sign, who even when given one, still do not believe.
Often, the miracles take time, especially those involving the human heart. The Lord begins His work and we, over time are transformed. It can take a life time and the progress is determined by God.
It is easy to become frustrated, when we do not see the “progress” as we define it.
This is especially true when we consider our brothers and sisters in Christ. I am guilty of not being patient, and I regret past moments when my comments have brought more harm than help. I am thankful that the Lord has shown me my own weaknesses.
The example in Mark showed me that the Lord does His will in His time. The healing was accomplished in stages, as after Jesus had spit in the blind man’s eye, he “saw men walking like trees.” This is a documented condition called Metamorphopsia, which is the visual illusion the size, shape and inclination of objects. These little things are what should delight the follower of Jesus, for we are reminded that He is real.
The Lord touched the man’s eyes a second time and His sight was restored.
As I read I saw many spiritual implications in the passage, for often what we see is defined not by the physical condition of our eyes, but the spiritual condition of our minds. Metamorphopsia is a condition with its roots in the brain, likewise our spiritual sight defines what we allow our eyes to see.
We have a condition called original sin. Because of it, we have a natural inclination to what is sinful. If we are drawn to the sinful, then we are in the deepest darkness, for those things that appeal to our flesh are not of God, but of the world. As a result the more darkness we let in the more we have inside of us.
““The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Matthew 6:22-23 NKJV
The blind man was veiled in darkness until the Lord healed him. Like the blind man, those who are healed spiritually are made well in stages, as we submitted it to the authority of the Lord. In the beginning, we find ourselves seeking to straddle the case between walking as a new creation and walking in the old flesh, but over time we move toward the holy, opting to walk the narrow path of righteousness.
As I read the passage in Mark, I was struck at how Jesus took the man outside the city to heal him. Previously the Lord had pronounced a curse upon Bethsaida, because He could not many miracles there.
““Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.”
Matthew 11:21-22 NKJV
Sometimes, healing requires movement. Many of us, before we came to know the Lord, have found ourselves in situations where it was near impossible for us to come to Jesus. Yet others of us have come to the Lord, surrounded by those who scoff at our new found faith.
It can be hard to move on. After the healing, the Lord instructs the man not to go back the town, or tell anyone in the town. I tell you the truth, there have been times when I have felt a block when I have wanted to share all that the Lord has done in my life with certain people, former friends still trapped in darkness. They are often those who are completely hostile to the Gospel and to God.
““Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
Matthew 7:6 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we who have called upon the Lord for salvation, have seen our lives delivered from darkness to light, for we like the blind man, have been healed. Just as he saw men like trees, we too are in transition.
Let us be mindful that some of us are further along than others, and that the stage where others are now, we were once before. Let us also be aware that as we have been made new creations, sometimes it places a calling on our lives to “go out of town”, to receive the healing that the Lord has for us.
And yes, there will be those we cannot reach. For them, we pray.
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