How Long Does It Take to See Things Clearly? {A Personal Note From Harry}

Text – Mark 8:22-26

You have most likely noticed that I have not recorded any posts for the last month. I thought it might be helpful to give some explanation as to why this has occurred.

On August 1st, I had a surgical procedure on my left eye that will help to alleviate the damaging effects of glaucoma. I had a similar procedure done on my right eye last summer. One of the side effects of the procedure is that one’s vision can be blurry for up to one month. And that is exactly what happened to me. I found myself being able to see things from a distance, but things that were up close, like print on a page, was extremely difficult to decipher.

For the first two weeks it was discouraging. Then I called my doctor and asked if this condition of blurriness was going to be permanent. He reassured me that part of my problem was the medicine I was taking. He also said that my ability to read small print would return in the near future. As I write this post, my ability to read has greatly improved—thanks to the Great Physician and a very good eye doctor!

My recent experiences with limited vision reminded me of the account in Mark 8 that is cited above. 

The story seems to drop out of the sky into Mark’s Gospel without warning. It's a story of a blind man who was brought to Jesus, with the hope that the Messiah would heal him. Jesus did, but this is the only account of a miracle in the gospels that was not immediate and complete. It is also strange that Jesus took the man outside of the village, spit on the man’s eyes and then laid His hands on him. When Jesus asked what he saw, he said he saw people, but they looked like “trees walking.” Jesus then touched the man’s eyes a second time, and he could see clearly. What are we to make of this strange episode that seems to come out of nowhere?

Please go back and begin your reading now in verse 11.

Jesus had just finished the miraculous feeding of the 4000. The religious leaders then confronted Jesus and asked for a sign, apparently hoping that they could discredit His ministry in some way. Jesus would have none of it! He left with His disciples and traveled by boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Prior to leaving, the disciples forgot to take food with them. So when Jesus started talking about the “yeast of the Pharisees,” the disciples assumed He was rebuking them for their apparent neglect in not bringing food. 

In reality God was warning them to not develop hearts that were hardened to truths about God and His Kingdom.

Once the boat arrived on the other side, Jesus had the encounter with the blind man that is recorded in Mark 8:22-26. I would suggest that the miracle was not just for the blind man’s benefit.  It was also for the slow learning, spiritually impaired disciples.

All too frequently our spiritual insight is slow and hindered by our own self-interests. But God gives us spiritual insight through the ministry of His Holy Spirit.

While I was recovering from my recent surgery, this story found in Mark 8 kept coming to my mind. It was as if the Holy Spirit was saying, “You can have all kinds of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you can make sense of it. You can have healthy eyesight, but that doesn’t mean you can clearly see the things of God."

You and I cannot rely on knowledge alone—whether it is our own knowledge or someone else’s. 

Yes, we need to be good students of the Bible.  But that’s just the starting place.

We need to call out daily for God to teach us. 

So read God's Word.
Meditate on what God is saying.
And ask the Spirit of God to help you see things as God sees them.

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