I didn’t realize how much I took my eyesight for granted. I didn’t until that first day the words of the book I was reading got a little fuzzy. After I readjusted the book’s position the words became clear again. I know many of you know the feeling. Suffice it to say, we all probably take our vision for granted.
Once, Jesus put some spit on a blind man’s eyes (Mark 8). The man was not immediately healed. Jesus asked him if he could see anything. His response was, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” After Jesus put his hands over the man’s eyes again, the man could see “everything clearly.”
That story always intrigued me. Did Jesus need a second round to get the healing right? Did he miscalculate how much divine energy he needed to get the job done?
This was an example someone used to teach me to read more of the story. Well, there’s not much more to that story. But there is more to the broader narrative surrounding the story. Right before Jesus healed this man, we see that the disciples were kind of blind themselves. I won’t retell that story. I’ll encourage you to pay attention to what happens at the beginning of Mark 8 and what the disciples do after that.
With the two-part healing, Jesus might’ve been showing us something about ourselves. We can be blind and we can be near sighted. Which is worse? Well, spiritually speaking, if you ask Peter, they’re the same. With one you can’t see anything. With the other people look like trees.
In his second epistle, Peter names several personal characteristics Christians should have. Some of them sound like fruit of the Holy Spirit. And not only should we seek these qualities, we should hope they are increasing within us (2 Peter 1:8). If not, Peter says, we are “nearsighted and blind” (2 Peter 1:9). Or short sighted, not able to see far off.
Like the disciples, we, sometimes, lose sight of what is most important in our faith and ministry. We focus too much on matters that mean more to us than to God. As a result, we lose full sight of the calling we have as God’s people. We are blind and short sighted.
And the only thing that can bring our sight back is to readjust our full attention to the Savior.