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home : religion : e-religion December 10, 2019

9/22/2019 1:28:00 PM
Progressive Healing
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

Mark 8:22-25

22 They came to Bethsaida,(A) and some people brought a blind man(B) 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(C) on the man’s eyes and put his hands on(D) 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.

This healing miracle is interesting because the blind man was not completely healed the first time. After the first touch Jesus asked him, “Do you see anything?” but He already knew the answer. He knew that the man’s sight was restored but it would take more to heal him completely. This miracle tells us that healing can be progressive as opposed to the other healing miracles of Jesus where people were healed instantly.

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Today many blind people who have operations to restore their sight are like this man. After surgery, their eyes work but they don’t know what they are seeing. This is called “post blind syndrome” Our eyes take in an enormous amount of information in light, shape, and color that must be assimilated into one big picture. People with post blind syndrome may be able to see, but they cannot make sense of what they are seeing. When a person with post blind syndrome looks at a cat, they might see a paw, or a nose, or a tail but they cannot put it all together and see the cat as a whole. It takes training and work to learn how to use their eyes to see things as they are.

When Jesus touched the man the first time, he was healed from his primary problem of blindness, but he was not completely healed. He saw people and trees, but they were mixed up together. He couldn’t make sense of what he was seeing, and now he needed to be healed of post blind syndrome. Jesus touched him again and this time he saw everything clearly. Using my sanctified imagination, I wonder if the next healing the man needed was the ability to make his hands and legs work together with his eyes so he could do things like use a hammer or walk up a rocky trail. Being able to move in three-dimensional space might be a real challenge now where it didn’t even matter before.

This passage teaches us that we should not be discouraged if our healing comes in stages. Physical healing from things like cancer has many stages and each one has its own challenges until we are declared free of the disease. Emotional healing has many stages as well. When we are healed of anger, we may need healing so we can forgive. Once we can forgive, we may need healing so we can trust again. Once we can trust again, we may need healing so we can make a commitment.

Some people have experienced instant, complete, miraculous healing. We know that it is possible. Even so, more often in life most people have been healed physically or emotionally in stages over time. Be patient with God and work with your healing as it comes one step at a time.

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church and she can be reached at 828-962-8196 or

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