“And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when He had spit on his eyes, and put His hands upon him, He asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” Mark 8:23-25
The Lord may choose to heal each of us any which way there may be, for we are His creation, and all things are at His merciful hands. Many times in the Bible we see Jesus healing the afflicted, and each time, it would seem, He chooses a different way. Sometimes, He would lay His hands upon them, and other times, He would not, and still, they were healed. Sometimes, He would go long distances to see someone for healing, other times He would be nowhere near to them, and still, they were healed. Most of the time, their healing was total and complete almost immediately, yet in this particular case, it was not done that way.
Jesus first takes the man out of the town and then proceeds to perform the healing. This is interesting, because undoubtedly there were many who followed them both out of the town, for when he was given sight restored, he saw them. So, then why lead the man out of the town? Assuredly, the reasons may be multiple, but what stands out to me is this:
This man was blind, much as we were before we came to know God, only where he was physically so, we were spiritually so. And, we didn’t know Jesus at all, but when we were first introduced to Him, we had enough trust to take His hand. Then, He led us out of our own town, out from among the people to whom He was still unknown. We were living in our own Sodom, and just like Lot got removed from there, so were we removed, but Jesus was only showing us the Way, step by step, because the next step is beautiful, and our eyes are opened little by little, precept upon precept, precept upon precept.
He spits on the man’s eyes and lays hand on Him. The spit, gross as it may seem, is from our Lord, and was free from disease, pure saliva, and actually representative of the Holy Spirit given to us by Him. The Spirit begins to open our eyes by first showing us our condition. The man looks, and he sees “men as trees, walking.” This shows us our spiritual condition.
In Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and in this dream, he sees an enormous tree in which all kinds of fowl find shelter, and it provides shade for the animals, has much fruit, and its heights reached the heavens, but then, God sends a messenger who commands that the tree get cut down, and that all should survive the fall of it, and then it gets banded and still has dew of the Heaven upon it. And the messenger says to take the heart of man from it and replace it with the heart of a beast, that all may know Who is the Lord, and that He rules over all the earth.
Daniel interprets the dream as God gives him the interpretation, and tells the king that he is the tree, where his kingdom has grown great, and encompasses much, but that God is going to remove his kingdom from him and humble him before men until he knows the Lord. After the king comes to understand God, having spent many years in the wilderness like a beast, and God is, his kingdom is restored to him.
The tree was representative of a king who was truly powerful, but as the tree grew to reach unto the heavens, he became in his own heart hardened toward God, and did not know Him. He had no relationship and was not relying on the One True God at all. Every man, in his own heart, without God to show him, is likened in this very way. We exalt ourselves in our own heart and mind, thinking we are as kings in our own lives. We live for ourselves, and selfishly make decision after decision until our own little world comes crashing down. So, Jesus lets the man see that all men are like this, just as we were shown by Him in much the same way and our tree was hewn down as we were humbled by the Lord.
Then, we surrender to Him fully, after having been shown who we have become, and that we need Him in our lives, and as we accept Him, His hands are forever on us, and our eyes become fully opened. Then, we see ourselves as the creations He originally intended for us to be, as a man, alike Him in image. As the blind man’s eyes were opened, he saw all men clearly. This is a portrait of us having been shown the true hearts of men, even our own, and now seeing in ourselves the image of God, and how we must now live. When He instills within us the knowledge of what He expects, having written His precepts upon our hearts, we now see all other men, for it is not about us. It becomes about Him, and He shows us that we are not unique, nor alone, in our need of Him.