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“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.”—Mark 8:22–25 (NKJV)
Anytime it comes to one of Jesus’ miracles, it’s important to remember that as wonderful as the miracles are, the greater wonder is to be found in the truths which lie beneath each miracle. Miraculous healings, feedings, deliverances all have a temporary impact. But the spiritual principles that guide them are everlasting and applicable for all times, including our own. That’s what we’ll see as we now come to Christ’s healing of a blind man that was brought to him by those in the community of Bethsaida.
It’s certainly a moving gesture on the part of those who brought this man to Jesus. Not everyone had support like that. In fact, we’ll see the blind were actually discouraged by others from bothering Jesus! So, we should recognize this man was both loved and blessed to have people in his life who were willing to intercede on his behalf.
When the blind man was brought to Jesus, He could have certainly healed him right on the spot. However, Jesus takes him by the hand and leads him out of the town. That’s uncommon for Jesus, which indicates there’s something important happening here. Although others had initially interceded on his behalf, Jesus is taking this man one on one. He’s getting personal with him, away from the crowds and onlookers.
Next, we see something unique happen! Rather than Jesus completely healing this man instantaneously (which we know He was capable of), He deliberately puts this man through a process. Why? Was it to teach him patience or obedience? Was it to demonstrate how spiritual understanding is progressive and takes time? We really don’t know for sure! But what we do know is this was exactly how Jesus wanted to heal this man. The Lord had a personal plan and process for this man to experience, which goes hand in hand with Jesus getting this man one on one to begin with.
Here’s the transcendent truth that applies to us, just as it did for this man so many centuries ago: Jesus is personal, and there’s no substitute for experiencing Him on a personal level. Ultimately, we don’t know Him through a religious movement, a crowd, other people, or even people who are interceding on our behalf. We need to know Jesus one on one for ourselves. For then and only then will we experience His personal touch and healing upon our lives.
If you’re interceding for someone, lead them as close to the Lord as you possibly can by lifting them in prayer and being the witness He calls you to be. But remember, there comes a point where they need the Lord’s personal touch and you need to release them to that. And if you’re that person in need of the Lord’s healing touch, allow Him to lead you and reveal what He’s personally prepared for you.
Pause: What guiding principle do you see from this miracle?
Practice: Consider and journal how this truth impacts your life.
Pray: Lord, God, help me to keep it personal with You and to not look to substitutes for encountering You one on one. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.