Mark 8:22-25 (NIV)
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 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?”
He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
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.
This story of healing is sandwiched between two other stories that highlight the spiritual blindness of the disciples. Although the disciples had been living constantly with Jesus and had witnessed many miracles, they still did not understand who Jesus really was. In a flash of insight, Peter accurately declared to Jesus, “You are the Christ!” Yet even Peter could not accept the notion that this Messiah must suffer and die in order to redeem the world.
Like the blind man, Peter saw Jesus but with blurry vision. His incomplete understanding led Peter to doubt and ultimately to deny Jesus three times on the night of his arrest. It wasn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection, when Jesus took Peter aside and spoke healing words to him, that Peter’s vision cleared. In response to Jesus’ forgiveness, Peter took up his commission and became the great apostolic leader of the early Christian church.
We, too, may perceive God and one another inaccurately because of blurry vision. Incomplete understanding can lead us to wrong assumptions that, in turn, lead to disappointment, hurt, and conflict. When we are angry at someone, for example, we often don’t see the whole person anymore but only the negative aspects we can’t forgive. Or we may blind ourselves to another’s weakness, leading us to trust when we shouldn’t and hampering our ability to confront another’s sin with clear-eyed compassion. In either case, we must surrender our faulty eyesight to Jesus’ healing touch, perhaps more than once, until we can see clearly and accurately.
FATHER, I confess that I often don’t realize how blurry my vision really is. Help me recognize when faulty eyesight is clouding my perceptions of you and others. Forgive me for all the times I’ve doubted you and hurt others because I failed to see accurately. Touch me, Lord, and heal my vision until I can see clearly and completely.
Luke 24:30-31; 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
When have you felt hurt or frustrated because someone saw you with blurry vision?