Two-Touch Healing

Why did Yeshua need to touch the blind man a second time before he could see clearly? Is there a lesson behind this story?

It's written that the blind man saw, but he did not see clearly. The story illustrates the gradual opening of the disciple’s eyes. (Image: Unsplash)

“Do you see anything?” Yeshua asked the blindman. The man lifted his eyes and looked around. Vision came slowly to his eyes—unclear and unfocused. The people in the distance, coming and going from the village, appeared to him as shapes, indistinct and blurred. He said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.”

The partial healing did not satisfy the Master. He laid His hands upon the man’s eyes again. As He removed them, the man’s vision came sharply into focus, and “he began to see everything clearly” (Mark 8:25).

The healer warned the man not to tell anyone about the miracle. He told him to return to his home. “Do not even enter the village, nor tell it to any in the town,” He instructed the man.

The two-touch healing of the blind man parallels the education of the disciples. Yeshua took the blind man by the hand and led him outside of the village to heal him just as He took the deaf and mute man away from the crowd. Similarly, Rabbi Yeshua took His disciples out of the Galilee and away from the crowds to teach them privately.

Surprisingly, the Master’s first attempt at healing the blind man met with limited results. The blind man saw, but he did not see clearly. Yeshua touched his eyes again. Then he saw everything clearly. The story illustrates the gradual opening of the disciple’s eyes. Even after all the miracles they had witnessed, they did not yet fully understand; their hearts remained uncomprehending. They had only begun to perceive. The Messiah they were expecting had not come, and they were not expecting the Messiah who had come. They did not yet grasp that His spiritual person transcends His humanity, nor did they comprehend what He meant when He referred to Himself as “the Son.” The picture remained out of focus.

The Gospel of Mark frames the story of the two-touch healing in such a way as to make its implications clear. The story begins shortly after the healing of a deaf man and immediately after Yeshua says to His disciples, “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?” (Mark 8:18). After the two-touch healing of the blind man, the Master asks His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?” Peter confesses, “You are the Messiah!” (Mark 8:29). Then Yeshua begins to speak forthrightly about His impending suffering. The Gospel of Mark narrates those two healing episodes with extra details to illustrate the opening of the disciples’ spiritual ears and eyes. The sequence concludes with Peter’s declaration of the Master’s identity as the Messiah, the disclosure of Messiah’s mission, and the revelation of the transfiguration.

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