As they came to Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus. They begged Jesus to touch him. 23 Jesus took the blind man’s hand and led him out of the village. He spit into the man’s eyes and placed his hands on him. Jesus asked him, “Can you see anything?”
24 The man looked up and said, “I see people. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes a second time, and the man saw clearly. His sight was normal again. He could see everything clearly even at a distance. 26 Jesus told him when he sent him home, “Don’t go into the village.” – Mark 8:22-26
I want to know why! Perhaps you’ve said that. Likely your children have said it, or soon will if they’re young. We all want to know why from time to time. Even though we are urged – no commanded – not to lean on our own understanding (cf. Proverbs 3:5), it’s difficult to restrain ourselves from asking why when we face difficulty or disappointment. Why did she have to take that road at that time? Why couldn’t he just say he was sorry? Why didn’t that medication work? Why did I have to lose my job when I did nothing wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.
I want to know why Jesus told the now-seeing man not to go into the village. Was he in danger of seeing things there that would distract him or upset his faith? Some say it is part of the messianic secret theory (which is not generally accepted). The now-seeing man was commanded not to go into his village because – according to this theory – Jesus didn’t want the secret to get out. Sometimes Jesus did forbid people from telling about his actions and identity, and some later texts include the prohibition of telling anyone. But these are conjecture. We’re not told. This is another place in which we are not to lean on our own understanding.
I’m not always good about this. Most often, however, I hide my desire to know by shrugging things off, pretending it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes that amounts to fatalistic surrender. That’s not the way of faith. Faith realizes that there are things we do not understand, and that we must sometimes simply trust God. But faith never winks as reality. Faith is willing to struggle with the big questions, and seek God’s favor and answers, and wait.
Some say that there will be a big Information Booth in heaven. We’ll be able to go and ask all the questions we might wish to ask. We’ll be able to get all the information we want. We can ask all about this moment and many others in Jesus’ ministry. But I suspect the line will be very short. For in that moment, we’ll rejoice that this man experienced the healing touch of Jesus. We’ll delight in the presence and glorious radiance of God. We’ll rejoice that Jesus is receiving all the honor and glory that he so rightfully deserves. We will also praise him for his glorious grace in healing our diseases and forgiving our sins.
Inquiring minds want to know. But faith-filled hearts find eternal peace.