Mark 8:24 should be read in the context of Mark 8:22-26 as follows:
“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. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.””
Let me share 3 things I learn from this incident recorded in Mark 8:22-26 :
Firstly, there are always good reasons for things to happen the way they did. Why did Jesus not heal the man instantly? Couldn’t He just speak the word and this man get back his vision? Certainly! But remember, Jesus is God – He can choose how He wanted to heal. And in this case, He chose to adopt a 2-stage process. And as He did via parables, this was probably for the purpose of teaching us precious lessons. Sometimes we seek God in prayer to the extent of trying to “prescribe” to God how we like Him to act. There may be a place for fervent & bold prayers. But we must humbly submit to God’s sovereignty in how He decides to act.
Secondly, the people brought this blind man to Jesus and begged Jesus to “touch him” (v24). They probably did not expect Jesus to spit on his eyes. But to get back his vision, this man would accept whatever God would do to him. He did not resist or question Jesus as to why He did such a thing. Do we trust God enough to let Him do whatever He deemed right and necessary to us? Tough question. But perhaps if we were in as desperate a state as this blind man, we probably would. Thank God for being gentle and patient in how He slowly drew us to Himself and sanctify us.
Thirdly, the blind man saw “..men like trees, walking”. How could a man who had been blind be able to tell what trees looked like (if he had never seen before)? How could he have compared “men to be like trees walking”? I don’t believe there was anything “defective” in the healing act of Jesus. I don’t think He failed at the instant and therefore had to “adjust” how He healed. Remember, all that a blind man could see is darkness. But now, he is given some light. He probably still cannot figure out exactly what all that he saw meant. The same may be true for some of us in salvation. When the light of the gospel enters our heart, we have a sense of our sin and our need for salvation. We see, but yet do not see completely. But as we persevere in seeking God, He opens our eyes to see clearly and understand fully the things of our faith and the design of God in it all. This is what I believe this incident was meant to teach us.
Overall, let’s remember that we are blind men seeking a sovereign God to heal us. We have no “voting rights” in how He should deal with us. All we can do is to seek His grace & mercies. Thankfully, our God is gentle, patient and full of compassion. He knows what we are like and deals with each of us according to what He knows we are able to bear. May God encourage us.