Knowing Our Past: Mark 8:22-26

Focus Passage: Mark 8:22-26 (GNT)

22 They came to Bethsaida, where some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. After spitting on the man’s eyes, Jesus placed his hands on him and asked him,
         Can you see anything?

24 The man looked up and said,
         Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking around.

25 Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes. This time the man looked intently, his eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus then sent him home with the order,
         Don’t go back into the village.

Read Mark 8:22-26 in context and/or in other translations on!

In a unique miracle that only Mark’s gospel includes, Jesus visits a town and meets a crowd bringing a blind man to Him. What makes this parable unique in my mind is that Jesus brings the man out of town, and that the healing isn’t entirely successful the first attempt.

However, one phrase at the conclusion of this miracle stands out as I read it. This passage ends by saying, “Jesus then sent him home with the order, ‘Don’t go back into the village.’” (v. 26)

On the surface, this command makes sense, because Jesus doesn’t want the man to meet back up with the crowd who simply wanted to experience a miracle and praise Jesus for it. However, what happens if we ask the question: “What if this man lived in the village?”

If the man lived in the village, then Jesus’ request to this man doesn’t make sense, but if the man lived in a different nearby village, then a couple of subtle insights appear that we can learn from.

First, if the man was from a nearby village, then this means that the crowd formed by either someone bringing the formerly blind man into the village before collecting a crowd, or, more likely, someone started bringing the formerly blind man to Jesus and on their journey to find Him, people who wanted to see a miracle joined the crowd. Either way, this detail gives support to the idea that the crowd was simply there to see a miracle rather than to praise God.

Secondly, and more importantly, this detail emphasizes the truth that Jesus knows where we live. While it may have been obvious by the man’s style of clothing or something else about his appearance, nothing in the passage aside from Jesus’ command implies this man lived elsewhere. This means that Jesus knew where the man came from even if most of those in the crowd that brought Him didn’t.

This second truth is significant for us to remember too. Jesus knows where you and I live, He knows  our past, and He chose to come to earth to give us the opportunity to have a new life with God. While we might have deep, dark, hidden secrets in our past, Jesus knows what they are – and regardless of what happened, Jesus invites us into a new life with Him.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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