A bad healing day? (Mark 8:22-26)

Today we’re looking at a short story from Mark’s gospel. One that’s seemingly unimportant. In fact, it’s one of the few bits of Mark’s Gospel that doesn’t occur in either Matthew or Luke. Both of them copied large slabs of Mark’s Gospel (these days they’d get in trouble for plagiarism.) Yet neither of them found room for this short story that’s only five verses long. Why?

Maybe it’s because it’s a bit of a strange story. Let’s face it, it’s not one of Jesus’ best moments. Not really one for the highlights reel, especially considering the spectacular stories that surround it. Let’s read it now:

Mark 8:22-26 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. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

Yeah, don’t go back to the village. Let’s just keep this one to ourselves, hey? What’s going on here? Is Jesus having a bad healing day? Does he need a second chance? Is this the divine equivalent of backyard cricket rules: you can’t get out first ball?

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