17 Blind man at Bethsaida
BLIND MAN AT BETHSAIDA
Mark 8:22-26 (NIV)
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village."
1. Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social stares).
2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
The person in need?
How was it expressed?
4. Describe the actions or process leading to the healing; that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, commands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom?
5. Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? ~. Non-verbally? Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.
6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?
7. What were the reactions to the healing?
8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?
1. In the minds of the blind man's friends, what do they believe is the connection between touching and healing? Is healing by touch already underway when Jesus takes (touches) the man's hand to lead him outside the village? What other healing story or stories imply a connection between touching and healing?
2. Why do you think the man wasn't completely healed the first time? Are two or more "steps" sometimes required for complete healing? What does this suggest to you about praying for healing, or praying for anything, for that matter? Can you think of other healing stories (Old Testament or New) in which the healing is gradual or in stages?
3. Jesus asks, after starting the healing, "Do you see anything?" Is it sometimes (always?) important or useful to check on the progress of the healing?
4. Modem medical science reports that upon restoration of sight after years of blindness, the cerebral cortex must be "reprogrammed" to process what the eyes are receiving. When opening their eyes for the first time, healed individuals initially confront a nonsensical, even frightening landscape; and normal vision is experienced only after a period of time. These facts were obviously unknown when the Gospels were written, so in effect, science is now confirming what happened then. Is it possible or probable that other incidents in Jesus' ministry can be proved as well?
5. What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?