22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village."
Thoughts: Jesus healed Bartimaeus just by saying, "Go your faith has healed you" (Mk. 10). Jesus healed two men by touching them (Matthew 9). Most healing he did was instant healing. But here in Mark 8- he spit, touched the man's eyes, and then it was only a partial healing. Why?
One missionary to a tribe in South America, once gave a story years ago about this verse. He said that the witch doctors in his tribe always spit when they healed others. The most effective witch doctor was called "the chief spitter." The missionary believed that Jesus spit so this particular tribe could be reached. For when they read this verse, they finally responded to the power of the gospel- because Jesus was the ultimate spitter.
But Jesus' healed gradually, to show us that sometimes it is God's will to help us a phase at a time. In our instant world- (think microwaves, instant oatmeal, instant messaging etc) it is important to note that God works in His timing and His way.
Prayer: Help us, O Lord. Heal our blindness. In your timing, in your way lead us into your hope.
John Calvin abridged: This miracle is included in Mark only because speaks of Jesus' healing not in an instant but gradually. In doing this, Jesus proves he has full liberty to the method of his healing. So the grace of Christ which is poured suddenly on so many flowed by drops on this man.