Updated: May 22, 2020
We are in a time unlike any other. Many are spending more time at home than ever before. Our entire way of life has changed. We do not know if life will return to “normal” any time soon. We may have a new normal. I encourage you during this time to call, text, and use social media to stay connected with friends and family. We can nourish our spirits during this time of isolation through reaching out to others. Previously, our busy lives made it easy to forget about our neighbors. We are now in a re-set mode, a time of repositioning. Now that everything has slowed down, we can more clearly see. Our eyes have been opened to the needs of others. We clearly see the season has changed and our focus needs to be Jesus’ focus.
This morning as I read Mark 8, Jesus is teaching the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. The subject of bread is brought up. The disciples believe Jesus is referring to the fact they only had one loaf of bread among them. They begin to blame each other for not bringing enough food. Jesus says, “Don’t you get it?” He then recalls how He fed five-thousand and four thousand with leftovers. Again, Jesus says “Do you still not get it?”
When Jesus and the disciples arrived at Bethsaida a blind man was brought to him. The process in which Jesus ministers to this man is interesting to me. The people brought the blind man to Him begging Jesus to give him a healing touch. Jesus takes the blind man’s hand and leads him out of the village. Jesus then spit in His hand, put it in the man’s eyes, and asked, “Do you see anything?” The man looked up and said, “I see men walking like trees.” Jesus touched the blind man’s eyes again. The Message Bible says, “The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus.”
There have been many times when I have been focused on the “bread” when Jesus was saying, “Don’t you get it?” Jesus was trying to teach me that He is the Bread of Life. He has provided bread many times with plenty leftover, so why do I doubt or fear? Jesus is invoking the power of the testimony. When I review the faithfulness of God and I thank Him for providing in the past, my faith increases through my hearing the testimony.
The blind man needed a healing touch. The first thing Jesus did was take his hand and lead him out of the village. We are in a time when Jesus has taken our hands and He has led us out of our village. He has taken us from what is familiar and is leading us to a place unknown to us but known to Him. Jesus is taking us to a place of trusting at completely different levels. He is taking us from the crowds to the place of one-on-one time with Him. We no longer can get lost in the large auditoriums but are found in the small living rooms of friends and family. We see and meet the needs of each other. We hear what Jesus says and say it. We see what Jesus does and do it.
As we read further, Jesus does the most peculiar thing: He spits in the blind man’s eyes. This might not be peculiar considering the time in the Hebraic calendar we are now in. The current Hebrew year, 5780, is the year of the mouth. What we say is more important this year than ever. This is the year of proclaiming. Do not be silent in your praise to the Lord or in your witness!
Jesus then asked the man what his vision was like? The blind man said he can see but everything was distorted. He saw men walking like trees. This speaks to where we as the Body of Christ have been. The man then said, “I see clearly, but I see men walking like trees.” In the past we may have only seen value in large numbers. We discount what we might consider insignificant. We have overlooked our neighborhood ministry while praying for the nation. Yet increase in authority is given to the one that sees significance in small things. Faithfulness in the little brings authority over the more.
The story continues. Jesus touched the man’s eyes again. The blind man looked hard and realized his sight had been recovered. Upon the second touch of Jesus, this former blind man said he could see everything bright and in perfect twenty-twenty focus. We are in the moment of a second touch. We have been brought in close to Jesus. It is just Him and us. He is looking into our eyes and asking, “What and how do you see?” We are looking hard. We are asking the tough questions of ourselves but finding beautiful answers in our Savior’s mercy and grace. We are realizing we have recovered our sight. The first thing we see is Jesus’ face up close and personal, and that is how it must stay. We have bright perfect twenty-twenty vision. Perhaps for the first time in our lives, we see clearly. Everything we have been through, everything God has walked with us through (the fire, the joy) has brought us to this year of 2020. This is the year we look hard and realize, Your Face Lord, is all I seek. Let this be a time of aligning and positioning into the call and purpose for which you were born.