“…. he asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said, ‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid hands on his eyes again, and he looked intently, and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25)
Today’s scripture may be the only time Jesus touched someone a second time in order for that person to be healed. Some folks may get disturbed that Jesus had to touch the man again, for they think it might suggest that Jesus’ power wasn’t enough on the first touch. I once heard someone speculate that Jesus had to touch this man a second time because He was having a bad day.
I don’t believe that Jesus touching this man a second time is about any lack of power, nor about Him having an “off” day. Instead, I believe that Jesus touching this man a second time attests to His persistence and determination to heal the man.
Jesus’ persistence and determination to keep on touching the man until he was healed is good news for us. Most of the healing I’ve experienced, and most of the healing I’ve witnessed, didn’t happen instantly but in stages. Every aspect of the Christian life is about giving Jesus ongoing opportunities to touch, heal, forgive, love, and encourage us.
We need to lean into the hope and good news of this story. I couldn’t begin to recount the number of times I’ve listened to people who have lost heart or lost their faith because they, or someone they loved, weren’t instantly healed. Does Jesus no longer care for me, they asked. Have I done something wrong, they questioned.
I encourage us to see the hope in today’s story. Jesus will keep on touching us until we are fully and completely healed of our infirmities. Sometimes our healing comes instantly, sometimes in stages. Sometimes it comes in ways we want, but more often, it comes in ways we need. Sometimes it comes in this life, sometimes in the next. Just as Jesus continued to touch this man until he was healed, so He will continue to touch us until we are.
- How many times has Jesus touched you for you to be healed or to accept His love?
- No matter how dense, how lost, how obtuse, how slow you can be, Jesus will never stop touching and blessing you. If you always remember the persistence of His love for you, how would your life change?
- Jesus is persistent and patient with us, and He wants us to be persistent and patient with each other. Did you ever give up on someone or some project too quickly or easily? If so, could Jesus be calling you to give that person or project another chance?