Jesus spoke about opening the spiritual eyes and seeing with the heart (Mark 8:17-18, Mark 8:21). He relates seeing to understanding the spiritual things of God, understanding the Word of God.
In the Bible there are 3 different kinds of eyes:
1. Physical eyes on our face
2. Eyes of discernment of good and evil
3. Spiritual eyes to see and understand the Word of God.
When we understand the Word of God, we will recognise Jesus Christ (Luke 2:25-30). We human beings can see things physically but it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can spiritually see God’s truth and Word. Genesis 3 records the fall of Adam, their spiritual eyes were shut after disobeying the Word of God.
Ever since then, mankind was born with the wrong set of eyes, only physical and not spiritual. Before the fall, man’s spiritual eyes can see. As a result of listening to the serpent, spiritual hearing and spiritual seeing were blocked and mankind has depended only on our physical eyes. God spoke through Apostle Paul that the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened when God gives us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:17-18, Acts 9:3-9).
Therefore God’s redemption work is to close our physical sinful eyes and open our spiritual eyes. Apostle Paul who wrote the book of Acts testified that God showed Saul the great light (Acts 26:15-18). Jesus said to Saul, “I appear to you right now because I want you to become My witness. I am going to open your new eyes to see the right things and become a witness”. May God close our sinful eyes and open our spiritual eyes to see correctly what He wants to show us. May we become witnesses of His work.
The Bible speaks about seeing in relation to understanding and recognising who Jesus is and what He is doing. The Bible speaks of different levels of seeing, and different levels of spiritual understanding (Hebrews 5:13-14, Hebrews 6:1-2). The solid food is called the Word of righteousness. There are different understandings of the Word of God, likewise, there are different levels of being able to see (Luke 24:15-16, Luke 24:26-27).
Jesus was walking with his 2 despairing disciples then Jesus started to explain the Bible to them. Jesus came to explain and teach the Old Testament and linked it to Himself (Luke 24:30-31). Those who understand the Word of righteousness will be able to distinguish between good and evil. Everyone decides according to their own preferences and standards. When we hear the Word of righteousness, we will understand what is good and what is evil, according to God’s eyes and standards.
The way Jesus opens the eyes of these 2 blind men in Mark 8 is very strange, by spitting on their eyes. Then having to lay His hands on them twice as if the first healing was not effective enough. Jesus who was powerful enough to remotely heal the Centurion’s servant immediately and completely, had to lay hands twice on the blind men (Mark 8:22-25). Why? Jesus is showing us spiritually how our own eyes are to be opened. Our eyes are open only when we come to Jesus and receive His Word. Spit is water. When we receive His Word of life, the Word that proceeds out of His mouth, our eyes will be opened. However, when we first believe in Jesus, we do not see clearly immediately. We see vaguely but are still excited because we were completely blinded before.
The problem when we have blur eyesight is we are prone to accidents and do not understand clearly. However many people are satisfied at that level, and they just go on. There are a lot of us who come to Christ but we don’t understand much. We follow not because we see clearly but because we want God’s blessings as it is exciting in the beginning.
Without clear spiritual eyesight, we will have a difficult spiritual life because we doubt and we wonder. The more we go on in our lives of faith, there are more questions and problems. As a result of not being able to see clearly, we start grumbling, because we don’t understand.
There were 12 spies sent into Canaan. 2 out of the 12, Joshua and Caleb saw differently, they saw from God’s perspective and clearly saw that this is the land God was giving to them. The other 10 spies saw with human sinful eyes and only came back grumbling. In the end, Joshua and Caleb were the ones who made it into the land of Canaan without dying. May God give us spiritual eyes to see His will, so we may also be like Joshua and Caleb.
We say we want to see clearly, how can our spiritual eyes receive sight then? We need to call out to Jesus when He is passing by, just like the blind men (Luke 11:34-36). When our eyes are clear, there will be no darkness in us (Luke 24:44-45, 1 Samuel 14:29, Psalm 119:103). When Jesus opens our minds to taste the sweetness of the Word of God, we will understand the Word. That is why we do Bible studies (Lamentations 4:17). When we depend on other things other than God, our eyes will fail. When we depend on the world, the world will fail us (1 John 2:15-16, John 9:40-41).
We need the blessing of the Lord to lift up the covers to our eyes, ears and heart. After the fall of mankind, we have a covering over our ears, eyes and heart, that we can neither see nor understand the Word of God. Through God’s redemptive work, He will lift that covering (Mark 10:46-52).
This blind was just crying out as Jesus passed by, yet Jesus said your faith has made you well. The gospel of Mark emphasises faith that comes from hearing Jesus. Bartimaeus heard of Jesus passing by too. This shows us that Bartimaeus had heard about Jesus before, and through that hearing, he was able to believe. He called Jesus “Son of David!” which means he believes Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Son who is to come, the promised King. He believed if Jesus had mercy on him, he will be healed. From hearing this, he confessed his faith, even when people were asking him to be quiet.
When Jesus called him, the blind man threw off the cloak covering him. This is the spiritual action we need to take, to throw away the spiritual covering over our eyes when God’s Word is heard. Through hearing of God’s Word, may faith grow in us, and may we confess our faith to our Lord Jesus Christ, and take away the covering so we can see and understand the Word of God with our minds. May you become followers of Jesus from that point on.