Context Matters: Two Tries to Heal the Blind

The Aquila Report | 1/29/2019 | Staff
echolea (Posted by) Level 3
We find the passage in question in Mark 8:22-26, which has no parallel in the other gospels. People in Bethsaida bring their blind friend to Jesus. Jesus leads him by the hand outside the village. He spits on the eyes and asks whether the man sees anything. He touches him a second time, “and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:25). Jesus then sends him home, prohibiting him from re-entering the village.

Perhaps you’ve come across the intriguing little story where it takes Jesus two tries to heal a blind man. After Jesus spits and lays hands on the blind man, the man can see, but people look like walking trees (Mark 8:23-24). Jesus tries a second time, and the man can finally see everything clearly (Mark 8:25). Did Jesus struggle with this one? Did he require more practice to get it right? Or could this be an example of an oral tradition slipping past editors, who otherwise had worked hard to portray a fictional Jesus to fit their preconceived notions regarding his character and claims to divinity?

Matters - Bible - Assortment - Episodes—we - Passages

Context matters. If we learn to read the Bible for what it is—and not as a random assortment of disconnected episodes—we’ll discover that some of the trickiest passages make a lot more sense than we thought.

We find the passage in question in Mark 8:22-26, which has no parallel in the other gospels. People in Bethsaida bring their blind friend to Jesus. Jesus leads him by the hand outside the village. He spits on the eyes and asks whether the man sees anything. He touches him a second time, “and he...
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