I HAD A DISTORTED VISION (Mark 8:22-26).
I lived near the village of Bethsaida. It was founded by a fisherman and named for his home; namely, the house of the fisher. It was located on the Northeast corner of the lake of Galilee. It was that part of Galilee, east of the Jordan River, located in Greek territory. Bethsaida had a mixed population of Gentiles and Jews that lived off the fishing industry. Jesus had come to Bethsaida many times, but found little acceptance. He had blessed them with healing and mighty works, but they refused to repent of their sins. They were a stubborn people and not much inclined to change. Jesus told them once that if He had done what He did for them in Sidon and Tyre, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes. For that reason, the Gentile towns would fare better on Judgment Day than Capernaum and Bethsaida. That forward warning hardened the inhabitants of “Fisher’s Town” even more. Jesus, at that time, was spending more time in these two places than anywhere else in all of Galilee and Judea. He had even chosen three followers that came from Bethsaida: Simon Peter, Andrew brother to Peter and Philip.
Bethsaida had some good and kind people. I was blind and depended on others to help me. One day, several of them decided to take me to Jesus and begged Him to restore my sight. Needless to say, I had become a disgruntled person. I must have been a real pest to these compassionate individuals that bothered with me. Of course, our Hebrew law required that people looked after me. Blind people were led to and sat in places where they could beg for alms. I did not have to be led or placed. I lived outside the village and walked to the road where people passed regularly. If I did require help, I would ask anyone that was passing, especially if someone dropped something into my hat. But these people that took me to Jesus did not ask me whether I wanted to go, they just took me. I did not mind what they were doing. And this was not the first time that some people were dragging me off to some healer. I did not set my hope too high and experience some more disappointments. Believe me, I had asked myself for a reason why I was punished with blindness? I was not at all a bad person. For whom was I atoning? Was I being judged for the sins of my village? I know that others thought of me as one that was being punished for some evil my family or I must have done. But no one could lay a finger on that bad thing that caused my blindness.
Jesus did not turn away anyone that came to Him for help. In spite of the people of Bethsaida, He welcomed the kind people that had brought me to Him and begged Him to touch me. They had heard of many cases that were touched by Jesus and were healed. They believed that His touch would restore my sight. Without saying a word, Jesus took me by the hand and led me out of the village. He did not want another public display for an unbelieving town. He wanted to deal with me on a personal basis and away from other people. This one was to between Jesus and me. What He was about to do to me would have been laughed at and ridiculed. He spat on my eyes. Yes, that was what He did. His spit was medicine – remarkable medicine. It had the power to penetrate my blindness. It relaxed my eye muscles and softened the tiny blood vessels and moisture entered my dried out eyes. Then, Jesus placed His hands over my eyes so that they could adjust to the outside light. After a while, He removed His hands and wanted to know what I saw. To my amazement, I did see for the first time in my life, only human beings were moving about as if they were large trees. My vision had returned, but only to half the clearance it required.
I was one of the rare individuals, who required a second douse of Jesus’ medicine and healing power. I am very thankful that Jesus repeated the treatment. Just think, if He had let me go with my distorted vision? Just think, how many people in the world have a blurred vision? They see, like I did, everything out of proportion. I saw things larger – far larger than they were in reality. To live with that perception that things are enormously large is just as bad as being blind. In fact, it is down right dangerous. Just imagine you see a mouse and you think it is twice as big as you are and therefore capable of swallowing you? Suppose your mind wants your eyes to look at a problem that appears larger than a mountain? In reality, it is only a molehill. I think you get my drift. Jesus knew where I was headed and He laid His hands back on my eyes and allowed them to adjust to normal sight. It was the Jesus’ sight. Now, I could see how things really looked and how they really were. Friend, it is very important to let Jesus cover your eyes so that you too can see things they way they ought to be seen. I no longer confused real men with trees.
Jesus gave me strict orders not to return to the village. He sent me home to my family and my loved ones. My mission was first of all to those that were closest to me. All good things must first be shared at home before they can be passed on to the outside. In my case, Jesus did not want the village to share in my miracle. The people in town were not deserving of a proper vision. They were to go on in their distorted views of things. Their blindness was mental and for such a defect, Jesus had no medication. Jesus could not do what He did to my eyes in front of unbelievers. In their midst, I would have remained blind.