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The strange case of a two-part miracle: the blind man of Bethsaida

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Miraculous healings always seem strange, but in many ways Jesus' healing of the blind man of Bethsaida is the strangest of all. First, Jesus appears to have been unwilling to heal the man at all until the man's friends begged him. Second, Jesus led the man out of town before healing him, apparently without a word. Third, he spit on the man's eyes before he touched him, or even spoke. Fourth, the healing was not immediately complete, and Jesus laid hands on him again. All in all, it does not seem to be a very pleasant experience for the poor fellow.


All through this process, the blind man had plenty of opportunities to take offense at Jesus, give up on getting his sight, go back to Bethsaida (one of the towns that Jesus cursed on account of its unbelief) and gripe to everyone he met for days and weeks afterward. If he had done so, he never would have gotten his sight back at all. 


In our day, millions have become so bent out of shape that God has not answered their prayers the way they want as soon they want that they give up and turn away. Some stop praying. Some even stop going to church they are so offended. What do they think will happen then? That God himself, creator of all things and Lord of the universe will pursue them to apologize and comply with all their demands? Acting like that toward God accomplishes nothing but negating our ability to receive from him at all until we confess and repent of unbelief. It's not that he will refuse to give. We can receive only in full trust with open minds and open hands.


Although this miracle is unique because it seemed like it didn't work the first time around, it more realistically resembles life as we observe it than any of the others in the Bible. Answers to out prayers seldom come immediately and often take a while from the first stirrings of change until completion. There may be many setbacks and disappointments before we see our full answer. 
Basically, we have only two choices in the mean time. We can respond with faith and patience and keep trusting Jesus, in which case we will receive tremendous blessing sooner or later. Or we can get mad, quit, and thereby close ourselves off from any possible blessing. The blind man of Bethsaida sure had to endure setbacks, but by the end of the day he had received back perfect vision.


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