Morning Reading for July 3

Mark 8:22-26
Suggested further reading: John 9:13-38

We do not know the reason of the peculiar means employed by our Lord in working this miracle. We see a blind man miraculously healed. We know that a word from our Lord's mouth or a touch of his hand would have been sufficient to effect a cure. But we see Jesus taking this man by the hand, leading him out of the town, spitting on his eyes, putting his hands upon him and, not till then, restoring his sight. And the meaning of all these actions is left entirely unexplained.

It is well to remember in such passages that the Lord is not tied to any one means. In the conversion of men's souls there are diversities of operation, but it is the same Spirit that converts. So in the healing of men's bodies there are varieties of agency employed by our Lord, but the same divine power effected the cure. In all his works God is sovereign.

This man was not delivered from his blindness at once, but by degrees. The Lord might have done it in a moment but he chose to do it step by step. First the man saw partially (v. 24) then completely (v. 25). In this respect this miracle stands alone.

This gradual cure is a striking illustration of the manner in which the Spirit frequently works in the conversion of souls. We are all blind and ignorant in things that concern our souls. Conversion is an illumination, a change from darkness to light, from blindness to seeing. Yet few converted people see things distinctly at first. The nature and proportion of doctrines, practices and ordinances are dimly seen and imperfectly understood. Their vision is unaccustomed to the new world into which they have been introduced. It is not till the work of the Spirit has become deeper and their experience has somewhat matured that they see all things clearly. Happy is he who has learned this lesson well and is humble and distrustful of his own judgement.

This gradual cure is also a picture of the present position of Christ's believing people in the world compared with that which is to come. We see now indistinctly; then clearly.

For meditation: It does not matter whether a conversion is gradual or instantaneous as long as it is real!

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ