Our eyes move around every day looking at many different things. What we see when we look depends on availability of light and the workings of the eyes and brain. However, there is more to this world than what our ordinary eyes can see or see clearly. For many, our ability to see or see clearly- physically and spiritually – is hindered by diseases and defects; and enhanced by the grace of God.
Jesus Christ healed a number of blind people as recorded in the Bible. Here are a few examples where Jesus gave sight to the blind, some more dramatic than others. In one, a blind man called Bartimaeus in Jericho heard that Jesus was passing by and he shouted to Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asked him what he wanted from him and when the man responded that he wanted to see, Jesus told him to go because his faith had healed him, and immediately the man received his sight (Mark 10: 46-52 NIV).
In another, Jesus saw a man born blind from birth. He dispelled any ideas the disciples had about whether his blindness was the result of a sin committed by the man or his parents, by telling them that it was for the work of God to be displayed in the man’s life. Jesus spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, put it on the man’ eyes, and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man did so and was healed (John 9:1-7 NIV). Still in another, Jesus gave sight to two blind men who asked him to have mercy on them. He asked them whether they believed he could heal them and when they answered affirmatively, he touched their eyes and told them it would be done for them according to their faith, and their sight was restored (Matthew 9:27-30 NIV). Note the different methods Jesus used.
However, the healing of a blind man which is the focus of this article adds another element of difference. Jesus went to Bethsaida, one of the towns he had earlier denounced because he had performed miracles there, but they would not repent (see Matthew 11: 20-22 NIV). There, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him so he could be healed. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the town. He spat on the man’s eyes, put his hands on him, and asked him, “Do you see anything?” The man responded, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes again and his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly (Mark 8:22-26 NIV).
There was something unique about that healing. First, some people brought the man to Jesus. Second, Jesus held the man by the hand and walked him out of the town. Third, he spat on the man’s face and touched him. Fourth, he asked the man if he saw anything, and the man responded that he saw people like trees walking around. Finally, Jesus touched the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly.
It is interesting to note that even in a town filled with unbelief, the blind man and his friends believed in the healing power of Jesus, and the friends brought him to Jesus. Our unbelief or attachments to environments contaminated by unbelief –family, friends, neighbors, and neighborhoods - may hinder God’s blessings upon us, unless the grace of God rescues us away from the situation.
Looking at the few examples mentioned above, it is clear that faith, belief, persistence, patience, support; and God’s grace, mercy and power are necessary for healing. They also demonstrate that sometimes divine healing, as in other miracles, is a process rather than one touch, and so we should be patient, pray often, and wait a little longer.
In Psalm 119: 18, we read: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” When the Psalmist wrote those words and Clara H. Scott (1895) wrote the famous hymn, “Open My Eyes, That I May See,” they were not referring to physically blind people yearning to see. Rather, they had in mind people like us who have our eye sights intact, but who may still lack complete, spiritual vision. In other words, they were referring to spiritual blindness. We are able to look and read alright, but we may not see everything we need to see when it matters.
That was what happened to Elisha’s servant. The king of Aram had sent an army to arrest Elisha in the city of Dothan because Elisha was revealing the king’s war secret plans to the king of Israel. The servant woke up in the morning and found the city surrendered by the Aramean army and he reported frighteningly to Elisha. Elisha told him, “Don’t be afraid …. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha prayed for the Lord to open the servant’s eyes and when the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Elisha prayed and the Lord struck the Aramean army with blindness and Elisha led them to the king of Israel in the city of Samaria where he prayed for their eyes to open. Thereafter, he and the king of Israel set the enemy soldiers free (2 Kings 6:8-23 NIV).
Do you see anything? The Apostle Paul said, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face …” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV). Do you see people like trees walking around? Some of the people we see on the streets every day may be angels or Jesus himself. Some people may have seen, met, abused or entertained strangers without knowing they were angels (see Hebrews 13:2). Let’s pray for seeing eyes, discerning eyes, and spiritual eyes.
During our lifetime, our eyes may look at a lot of things, but we do not see everything we ought to see unless God reveals certain things to us. The blind man in Bethsaida could not see clearly immediately after Jesus healed him. He saw people like trees walking around until Jesus touched his eyes a second time. Elisha’s servant initially did not see the Lord’s army surrounding Elisha until Elisha prayed for the Lord to open his eyes. May God open our eyes so that when Jesus asks us whether we see anything, we can graciously say yes, we see and feel his presence around us, and we see ourselves in Heaven where he is seated majestically on his throne.
Prayer is the key. May God grant us the grace to seek Him daily through our prayers.
Dr. Daniel Gyebi, Attorney-at-Law, Texas, U.S.A., and Founder, PrayerHouse Ministry, Kumasi, Ghana.
PrayerHouse Ministry is dedicated to providing a quiet facility for Christians to pray individually by themselves without any intermediary priest, pastor or any other person. This is a free service. No money is demanded or accepted. One facility is located at Kyerekrom / Fumesua, near Building and Road Research Institute Offices, one mile off the Kumasi-Accra Road and next to a house called Grace Castle. If you are interested, please contact Agnes at 054-7498653. Another is located at Kantinkyiren, at the junction of Kantinkyiren and Konkori, off the Kumasi-Obuasi Road, branching left at Trede junction. Contact Kwadwo at 020-8768461 / 0246-989413.