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
There are some things you just can’t un-see. That comment is usually reserved for those unfortunate moments when our eyes catch a particularly unappealing or indelicate sight: An uninvited intrusion into an otherwise serene moment. The south end of a northernly-headed horse and such things – if you get my drift. Then there are those things we can’t get out of our minds because of past experiences and events.
It could be the time you were discovered in a compromising situation at work – with gold or guy or gal in your possession that didn’t belong to you. It might be the moments you spent daydreaming of that dreamboat or beauty queen who intrudes into inappropriate moments. It sometimes is something you want to indulge in: a fantasy, a mental vacation, or a daydream. But all these things take you away from life as it is. And God works in the realm of life as it is.
That’s why Jesus’ question of the blind man is so important: “Can you see anything?” It’s important that the man be able to see in order to make his way through life. He needs to be able to walk without being taken by the hand. He needs to be able to see things as they truly are. God wants us to see clearly – physically and spiritually. But sometimes we Christians fail to recognize how important it is to see physically.
There was a TV show that glorified the other senses of a blind detective. His hearing was keen. His sense of touch and smell revealed things others missed. But ask those who suffer from vision issues whether they would rather be able to see. They’ll tell you yes, without a doubt.
Vision of the earthly kind is a gift of God. It was also a sign of the Messiah’s presence (Matthew 11:3-5). Jesus was giving this man an opportunity to live a normal life, to see things as they are. That’s where Jesus operates. He’s here and now, as things are, in the realm of things unseen and seen.