When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, ‘Can you see anything now?’
The man looked around. ‘Yes’, he said, ‘I see people, but I can’t see them clearly. They look like trees walking around.’
Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. (Mark 8: 22-25)
Having recently broken my prescription glasses, I remembered that my spare pair had been gifted to third world charity, so I made an appointment to have an eye test and choose new glasses.
Seated with an industrial looking frame on my face, the optician projected a set of large letters. So large in fact that they looked clear without assistance from any lenses. But that all changed with the next projection of smaller letters. They were small and blurred blobs.
The optician placed a lens into the industrial frame, which helped quite a bit. Then she proceeded to flip a series of different lenses in front of me, and after checking for my preference adjusted a ratchet on the side of the frame. The blurred shapes were progressively becoming clearer and clearer, until I could finally determine what they were.
This new prescription will be what I take forward into my new glasses.
It reminded me of our Tuesday bible studies. The bold message of love given by Jesus is clear for all to understand – our salvation through faith and repentance.
But when we start to read about God in the small text in the Old Testament, we find it to be rather blurry and difficult to comprehend. Different translations, historical practices and an abundance of smiting each contribute to create a veil.
Yet with the help of our group members and facilitator offering different views, we start to see a broader framework of God’s relationship with us. Progressively we see clearly more (but not all) of the fine print, just as the blind man saw more clearly as Jesus touched him for a second time. Jesus could easily have healed the man with one touch, but possibly chose to demonstrate that spiritual truth is not always perceived clearly at first.
Which is encouraging, because we often conclude that some blurriness will have to remain until we meet him in person.
Dear God, we thank you for your Word, our scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for allowing us the time and space to understand you better,
An eternity of time that you have granted us through the sacrifice of your dear Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.