The healing of the blind man of Bethsaida, one of the few incidents unique to Mark’s gospel, must be the oddest of Jesus’ miracles. It says that when he got to Bethsaida, the townspeople brought a blind man to him and begged him to heal him. Begged? It’s almost as if he seemed unwilling at first.
Then, Jesus took the man by the hand and led him out of town. And at first, the healing seemed not to work. The man could see, but not clearly. Jesus had to try again.
Did Jesus have an “oops” moment? Or did he have a reason for performing a two-step healing?… Read the rest
Christ Healing the Blind Man of Bethsaida (14th. c.)
Mark’s gospel records a very odd healing. Some people in Bethsaida brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. Usually in Scripture we see Jesus instantly moved to compassion, but these people had to beg him.
Then, instead of laying his hands on the man, he led him out of town, where the story becomes odder still.
Implicitly Jesus had challenging questions for the blind man, his disciples, and all of us: Do you believe me? Is trusting me still an option for you?
In Luke 10:13, Jesus pronounced woe to Bethsaida for its unbelief at the miracles performed there.… Read the rest
In Mark 8:22-26, Jesus performed his only two-part healing. In an earlier post, I pointed out the significance to Mark’s structure of the fact that Jesus had to lay his hands on a blind man twice before his sight was fully restored.
That is not the only odd thing about this miracle. Notice that Jesus and his disciples entered the village of Bethsaida, where some people asked him to lay hands on a blind man. He did not do so immediately. Instead, he took the man by the hand and led him out of the village. After Jesus healed him, he sent him home with strict orders not to enter the village.… Read the rest
In recent centuries, philosophers have doubted miracle stories. Some of them have asserted that only uneducated people who don’t know much about science could believe them, so the stories must have some time after Jesus’ live passed into the realm of legend.
Others have claimed that the biblical authors deliberately made up stories that couldn’t be true in order to gain a mass following among the unsophisticated and credulous.
One question, then: if someone made up a bunch of tall tales to make Jesus seem like more than just another teacher, why would they make up a story about a miracle that seemed not to work?… Read the rest