[Willow Creek Association] 1998-01-14 - Healing

I want us to look a familiar healing of the blind man at Bethsaida. Hopefully it will be relevant today and open our eyes more to Jesus.

Mark 8:22-26 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.

Look at verse 23.

Jesus took the man by the hand and led him outside the village. Why do you suppose He did that? Jesus did it because He wanted to establish a personal one-on-one relationship with the blind man. That is what God wants; He so very much desires that personal meeting with you.

Now, notice the actual healing. This is the only two-step healing I can find in the Bible. In the first step, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" In verse 24 the blind man said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." In others words, the man's vision was still blurred. How is your vision of Christ? Is it still blurred? That would be normal. Growing a relationship with Christ is a process that builds over a lifetime. What steps can we take to build this two-way relationship? In other words, how do we become fully-devoted followers of Christ?

In my life, I have found deliberate actions on my part lead to a deeper relationship with Christ. These include reading and studying God's word on a regular basis. Set aside some time each day to read and meditate on the Word. Along with a reading time, quiet time is so important. We need time set aside to shut out the noise of the world and listen to God -- time to reflect upon His love, His grace, His mercy, and to listen to the soft voice of the Holy Spirit.

Also, find time for prayer. As I have stated in previous devotionals, pour your heart out to God. In addition, ask Him for forgiveness and thank Him for being the God He is and not the God you want Him to be. Get into a small group at your local church. If there is no small group, start one. Being in a local group that holds each other accountable, prays together, studies the word, loves each other and learns together will lead to growth together in Christ.

Regular attendance at a worship service is also important. Worship God during this time. Fasting is vital, too. For me, fasting is the hardest growth tool, but ironically the most rewarding. Fasting brings all the spiritual disciplines together into one God-honoring growth spurt.

In the second step of this healing, Jesus touched the man, and he saw everything clearly. We are so much like the blind man, but through deliberate actions on our part to seek Jesus, our sight will become more clear. Are you seeing the world around you clearly? Better yet, are you seeing the world around you with Christ's eyes?

Just like us, the man was once blind, and now sees. At first things are blurry, then Jesus continues to heal and fully restore his sight. But with us, Christ restores us to the Father. What an Awesome God he is!

Dear Father, open our hearts and eyes to You. Help us do our part in this wonderful two-way relationship. Help us seek You so that You can touch us again and again. Touch us so that we can be restored to You. Touch us so we can build that wonderful one-on-one relationship that You want so much for us to have. Father, thank You for being a personal God and most of all, thank You for you Son Jesus. In His name, Amen.