A second touch
Sometimes my faith feels more like a flickering pilot light than a bright beacon of Light, as brightly lit for Jesus as football stadium at primetime.
Sometimes in my woundedness from life’s circumstances my faith needs a second touch from Jesus. I believe Jesus has needed to heal me more than once until I could see Him clearly.
Recently I experienced a second (or maybe 100th) touch from the Lord. In life it seems we can be doing ministry and working at 100 miles per hour, yet not slowing down long enough to truly hear from the Lord; to truly experience His healing.
We recently experienced some restructuring at work and I had struggled with the new normal. I had become “weary in doing good.” Then I went away on a retreat, to quieten my soul and listen. I cried out to God and He gave me clear direction. I was reminded of this miracle in the Gospel of Mark.
To set up the scene, Jesus had fed five thousand people, then later He had fed four thousand. Jesus was on a roll of miracles. Then this next miracle occurred, only recorded in the Gospel of Mark, 8:22-26:
“And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, ‘Do not even enter the village.’”
This passage holds several rich leadership lessons on our faith:
Some people brought their blind friend closer to Jesus. Do your friends lead you away from Jesus or closer to Him? It’s a choice we have. Fortunately the blind man chose friends who led him to Jesus. May we do the same.
Each of us is blind and has blind spots in our own ways, in need of Jesus’ healing. Blindness in the Bible is also a metaphor for a lack of understanding. Whether it’s pride, unforgiveness, anger, legalism, or other, I am, we are, in need of our Savior’s healing.
The blind man asked, actually begged, for Jesus’ healing touch. Jesus can heal any of us anytime, but He wants to hear our hearts. Like the blind man, may we go to Him humbly, like a child goes to a parent.
Jesus wanted to truly heal the man, not draw a crowd. Jesus walked with the blind man away from the people and outside the village. He didn’t want to bring attention to Himself as He healed the man. May we serve others with pure motives, as Jesus did.
After healing Him Jesus asked the blind man if he could see. Jesus didn’t need to, but was wise to ask the question if His healing helped. Sometimes when we serve and give to others we assume it was helpful and/or was a blessing to them. May we be open to asking honest assessing questions to see if we are truly helping.
The blind man was honest that he couldn’t see clearly. This miracle is the only one recorded in the Bible where Jesus’ healing was initially incomplete. It took the blind man’s authentic answer, though, for Jesus to know the truth. If he had faked it he would have totally missed being truly healed. How many of us are truly authentic in our answers when someone asks us how we are. “I’m fine” is the most popular answer. It would be so much healthier for us to be honest and admit that we are not fully healed. Then we could be open to additional healing.
After Jesus laid hands on him again, his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly. When we draw close to Jesus, He wants to heal us so we see clearly. When is the last time you quietly drew close to Jesus and received clear healing or clear discernment from the Lord?
Jesus sent the blind man home, not back to the village. Jesus wanted to protect the newly healed man in the privacy of his home instead of facing the crowd. On occasion our healing is just between Jesus and us. All other times we are to tell the world of the Good News of Jesus.
Jesus asks the blind man, “What do you see?”
He is still asking us the same question today. May we ask ourselves:
Are things unclear or a little blurry in our lives?
Do we need a fresh touch from the Master?
Are we tired of trying to live off of someone else’s testimony?
Are we ready to seek a personal encounter with Christ?
What do you see and what are you going to do about it?
Friend, Jesus is the Gentle Healer. He is ready to heal us once, twice or as many times as it takes to see Him and the world around us clearly, through His eyes.
Charleston native Danya M. Jordan’s recent debut non-fiction work caps 18 years of Bible studies and church leadership, 20-plus years of writing and speaking and practically a lifetime of hilarious and provoking storytelling. Her mission statement is one word — “Shine!” — based on Matthew 5:16. Based out of Matthews, N.C., her “day job” is a high calling as executive director of donor development for international faith-based Proverbs 31 Ministries (proverbs31.org) at which she loves serving as a “blessings broker.” She may be reached at Danya@proverbs31.org.