Today's verses are Mark 8:22,23: "And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, 'Do you see anything?'" Jesus remains on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, traveling to the town of Bethsaida. While there, some people bring a blind man to him. Notice they beg Jesus to touch him and heal him. Once again, this is the evidence of the power of friends' faith (which could well have also included the faith of the blind man). They believed Jesus could touch and heal him. Therefore, they brought him to Jesus. Also, they "begged" Jesus to heal him. Begging is a kind of importunate prayer often seen in the Bible. It's the prayer of desperation. It's the kind of prayer that knows unless God does something, it is not going to happen. It's a kind of prayer always honored by Jesus.
The desperate prayers of faith-filled friends has great power in Jesus' eyes! Notice Jesus didn't hesitate a second in taking the man by the hand and leading him out of the village. One has to wonder if the unbelief of the crowds may well have negatively affected Jesus' ability to do the miracle. He did not want the distraction of the multitudes who didn't really believe.
He then spat on his eyes and laid hands on him. Both of these actions were common in that day for physical healing, as they still are today. For example, whenever we get burned or cut, our immediate response is to put the burned our cut place to our mouths and get saliva on it. Also, for example, studies show that babies in intensive care units heal more rapidly when hands have been laid on them than those who have had no physical touch. And the laying on of hands for prayer is a 2,000 year old church tradition. I have personally witnessed physical healings after the elders of the church have laid hands on people and prayed prayers of healing for them. There is something extremely powerful about the laying on of hands and prayer!
Removed from the masses, in a private place, then Jesus asked the blind man a profound question: "Do you see anything?" Why is this question important? It's because he wanted the man to assess his present condition before he healed him. He wanted to know from where to begin. Knowing where you are is the most important realization before you can move forward in any place in life--physically, emotionally or spiritually!
I think Jesus was making a spiritual analogy for his disciples. He had been trying to teach them about the spiritual dullness of the Pharisees. They just didn't understand. With this blind man, he is trying to show them and us that the only way we can ever move forward toward deep, spiritual sensitivity and maturity is to know where we are now spiritually. It's impossible to move forward until we know where we are right now!
Where are you spiritually right now? What do you "see" of the Lord, his Spirit, his life and power? Are you still dull spiritually? Are you still a baby in Christ, even though you say you've been walking with him for years? Or is there acute sensitivity to the Lord's leading? Do you feel his promptings, every day, as you read his Word, sense his Holy Spirit leading you in prayer?
Spend some time today trying to assess your present spiritual condition. It's a very important exercise!
You'll never be able to move forward until you do.