Jesus healing of the blind man is unique to the Gospel of Mark. It is unique in several ways: (1) because Jesus heals the blind man in a two-step process, (2) because Jesus takes the blind man away from the crowd to heal him, (3) because Jesus both spits on the man's eyes and lays his hand on him. It is apparent that Jesus discerned some problem or obstacle blocking the man's healing, makes it unique. Jesus asks the man if he can see. The way the man responds to Jesus's question, indicates that he has received only a partial cure. Jesus then lays his hand on the man's eyes a second time. Immediately, his eyes are opened and his sight is completely restored, enabling him to see.
We must understand that we don't get sick overnight, and most often, we don't get well overnight. Healing is a process. This healing story encourages us not to give up, even when our healing does not happen immediately. Our part in the healing process is to believe, that God loves us, and wants us to be a whole person. We should put our trust in Jesus's ability to connect our needs with God's power.
During ancient times, it was believed that saliva had some healing properties. This may be considered a strange therapy to the modern world. However, a common human instinct is to put a cut or burned finger into the mouth to ease the pain. Some scholars think that the use of saliva was familiar and understood by the blind man. Scientists have discovered that saliva contains many proteins with antibodies that work against infection. One such protein is lysozyme that can help break down bacteria, and neutralize it, or can destroy it.
Jesus's method of healing often demonstrates God's personal grace. Jesus healed numerous blind people and never used the same method to heal them. Jesus met everyone at the point of their need and heaeled him or her in a personal manner. We all need personal grace.
It was important to Jesus to engage people in a positive way in their own healing process. Perhaps, this method was used by Jesus to help the man to release his faith for his healing.
For example, Jesus told the man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years, to pick up his mat and walk. (John 5:2-18) Before he healed the man with a withered hand, he said to him to "stretch out your hand" (Luke 6:6-11). Jesus told another person to believe that he was capable of healing him. (Matt. 9:28) To the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus tells her that it was her faith that has healed her (Mark 5:25-34). After placing mud on the eyes of another blind man, Jesus told him to go to the pool and wash out his eyes (Luke 9:6-8). Jesus told the ten lepers to go and show themselves to the priest (Luke 17:11-19). Perhaps Jesus engaged people in their own healing process, because he wanted to show them that they were not powerless or hopeless. Jesus wants us to feel hopeful regardless of our situation.
I believe that we should do everything within our power to be made whole. To encourage a co-worker, I suggested that she pray over her medicine before taking it, just as she does before eating food. We should also visualize the medicine entering our mouth and moving through the blood stream, and going directly to the area of the body that needs healing. Visualization helps us see the medicine bringing the desired results. We give thanks and pray over our food for health and nourishment. It makes sense to give thanks and to pray over our medication or therapy, to do us good and not to cause any harm to us. This is good old common sense. We are always to pray for our healing. God uses prayer to help speed up the healing process and to encourage faith. Jesus challenges us to be proactive in the healing process. We are never to feel hopeless or to sit around, or to feel sorry for ourselves.
God wants everyone to be well and whole. Healing is part of God's redemptive plan, sending us a Healing Messiah in Jesus Christ.
Copyright in 2013 by John I. Penn
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