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30th May: Healing with Jesus

Then again Jesus laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. Mark 8:25

The chronological context of this healing recorded in Mark 8:22-26 is significant. Prior to it, Jesus admonished his disciples: 'Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?...Do you not yet understand' (vv18,21)?' The healing is followed by the confession of Peter 'You are the Christ' (v29), Christ's first prediction of his suffering (vv31ff), and the transfiguration on the mount (9:1-8).

In our calling, we are often tempted to draw distinctions between medical or scientific therapy, psychological recovery, and spiritual healing. In this narrative, one of the two miracles recounted only by Mark, we see a gradual healing where every aspect of the human person is involved -- body, mind, emotions and spirit.

Friends had brought this blind man to Jesus -- as we need to bring our patients to God, the Great Physician, in prayer, 'begging him to touch' them. His friends wanted for him the gift of God's healing; Jesus gave himself, the Giver! Jesus led the blind man out of the village, spat on his eyes and laid his hands upon him.

Jesus, possibly conscious of some lack of faith in the recipient, asked 'Do you not see anything?' (v23). When we ask God for signs, we ask him to do something for us and, indeed, he does do much for us. But he loves better to do things WITH us -- he seeks our co-operation. If we were more ready to respond and do things WITH him, he would be able to do much more FOR us.

This man had to make his own effort and contribution. After Jesus had AGAIN laid his hands upon his eyes, he looked intently (ie opened his eyes wide), and saw everything clearly.

Unlike the Pharisees who refused to see (Jn 9:39-41), the disciples of Jesus, of whom Peter was chief, went on from the first stage of recovery (confused knowledge of Christ) to clear sight -- of his transfiguration, death, resurrection, ascension and the sending of his Spirit.

Jesus doesn't do his work by halves -- in his thoroughness, he will only be satisfied with perfection!

Heavenly Father, help me to see and understand by your
word and your Holy Spirit what you want to do in me and
with me, that I may this day and always co-operate
more readily with your purpose and power in healing men
and making them whole persons in Christ.

Further reading: Jn 9:24-41. Mk 7:31-37.


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