This morning in our series ‘The Miraculous & The Mundane’, we looked at how Jesus healed a blind man in two stages (Mark 8:22-26). Instead of instaneously healing someone, it seemed that Jesus healed this man gradually, perhaps to remind us that spiritual vision needs to be renewed constantly.
We see again how important friends are in bringing this man to Jesus and are reminded that this is a vital part of our lives: personal testimony is by far the most common way people come to faith in Jesus. We see how Jesus treats the man with compassion and as an individual, taking him somewhere private away from the crowds before healing him. How we too need to treat people as individuals, not expecting one size to fit all, but understanding that we walk by faith not sight and will always need to depend on God rather than expecting Him to work in certain ways.
Above all, we see how Mark uses this miracle to teach us about spiritual vision, just as John did (John 9). All of us are spiritually blind without Christ (see 2 Cor 4:4). Without God’s help, none of us can even see the kingdom of heaven. (John 3:3) But when our eyes are opened by God’s Holy Spirit, this is the start of our spiritual adventure. Paul reminds us that ‘now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ (1 Cor 13:12) There are many stages of enlightenment in our Christian journey when God needs to open our eyes (as He did with Elisha’s servant, 2 Kings 6:16-17). Paul prays for enlightenment in 3 areas in Eph 1:18-23:
- The hope to which God has called them
- The riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people
- His incomparably great power for us who believe
Hope is very necessary to fulfilled living. The God who had plans to give Israel a hope and a future at a time of exile (Jer 29:11), who gives strength to those who hope in the Lord, no matter how weary they are (Is 40:28-31) and who can make us overflow with hope (Rom 15:13) is able to transform despair into hope and give us eternal hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now we belong to God’s family and are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17), reminding us that all the riches of God are available to us (see Ps 50:12). We are His treasured possession and chosen people (1 Pet 2:9-10) and therefore can live securely because of whose we are.
Paul prays also that they may know ‘his incomparably great power for us who believe.’ (Eph 1:19) The same power which raised Christ from the dead is available to all who believe, and therefore the miraculous is not out of reach. God does not change and we can have free access to His miraculous power as we trust in Him.