That’s Disgusting

by The Doctor

So you think you know Jesus pretty well, huh? OK- did you ever think you’d see Him do something like this…

“When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to (Jesus) and begged him to touch and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and lead him out of the village, and spat upon his eyes and laid his hands over them.
‘Can you see anything now?’ Jesus asked him. The man looked around. ‘Yes!’ he said, ‘I see men! But I can’t see them very clearly; they look like tree trunks walking around. Then Jesus placed his hands over the man’s eyes again and as the man stared intently, his sight was completely restored, and he saw everything clearly, drinking in the sights around him” (Mark 8:22-24).

Now this little episode is found only in the Gospel of Mark and to be honest, The Doctor imagines that some people are really grossed out by this story. In fact, The Doctor can easily imagine people reacting to this story by saying, “Hey, Jesus is supposed to be God in the flesh and He’s spitting on people? Do you expect me to believe in somebody who does that?!? What kind of God spits on people’s eyes? That’s disgusting!!”

Well that may be so, but it seems that God already anticipated that kind of response in the book of 1 Corinthians…

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength… God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:25, 27 NIV).

What that means is simply this: even what some might consider to be the “foolishness of God” (like the episode we just looked at) is still wiser than anything that we as human beings can come up with. The proof of that lies in the fact that this blind man received his sight!.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to become preoccupied with the method that Jesus used in healing this guy while losing track of some of the more important things involved in his healing. For example, Jesus often seemed to be looking for two things when dealing with those who needed help. Those two things were humility and faith. You can find two other examples of this in Matthew 15:21-27 and Luke 7:1-10.

In looking at our story above, it seems that this man clearly believed that Jesus would heal him- otherwise he would never followed Jesus out of the village. So we can say that this man followed Jesus by faith. But to allow Jesus to spit upon his eyes without any apparent objection indicates that this man was also a humble person. Just imagine if this man had too much pride to allow Jesus to spit upon his eyes- he would have lost his opportunity to see!

Next, this seemingly weird method of healing shows that we can never put God in a box. In other words, it would be a mistake to expect God to always do the same thing at same time in the same way.

For instance, in John 9:1-7 Jesus healed another blind man by spitting on the ground, making some mud with the saliva, putting it on the man’s eyes and then having him go and wash it off. In Mark 7:32-35, Jesus healed a man who couldn’t hear and couldn’t speak by placing His fingers in the man’s ears and then spitting and touching the man’s tongue with the saliva. But in Mark 6:5, it says that Jesus healed a few people by placing His hands on them. And in Mark 8:13, Jesus healed a man without any outward action at all!

The point is that God is not obligated to follow any set rule or procedure when he works in our lives. Our job is to trust that He is going to always do what is in our best interests- even if it may seem unusual at the time.

Finally, check out the first line of the story quoted above again- it says, “…some people (presumably his friends) brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch and heal him.” A similar thing occurred in Mark 2 when the friends of a paralyzed man ripped open the roof of a house to get him to Jesus so he could be healed.

The question for us is this: what friends are we bringing to Jesus? You see, people who are spiritually blind and paralyzed don’t always bring themselves to Jesus to be healed. It’s often left up to us to bring them before Christ and ask Him to help them just as these people did here.

Sometimes this is done through prayer, sometimes it’s done through inviting your friends to church or to a youth-group activity. Sometimes it’s done just through living a Godly lifestyle where others can see Christ in you. Spend some time thinking about those people that you have contact with and how you might bring them to Christ today.