A Parable of Four Men Who See
Four men are standing in a circle.....and one begins to tell his story, "I used to be blind ....but now I see". Another said, "Me too!" and the other two replied likewise. "Who healed you?" "Jesus did." "Tell me how that happened."
He said, "my name is Bartimaeus and Jesus just said something to me and I could see!” (Mark 10:49-52) “I believe that since this is how it happened to me, the proper way to heal is to just say the right words, and the person will be healed." Quiet murmuring broke out among the others.
The second man spoke up, "I beg to differ. I, too, was healed of blindness by Jesus, but that is not how it happened to me. Jesus touched my eyes and said something to us and we were healed!" (Matthew 9:27-30) A fifth man stepped into the circle and nodded, as he was the other man spoken of here. The speaker looked to his companion and said, "We believe that because this is how it happened to us, the proper way to heal is to just say the right words and then lay on hands, and the person will be healed."
More murmuring broke out, this time a little louder. Another man spoke up, "I feel I must say something. I too was healed of blindness by Jesus, but neither of those ways was how it happened to me." The others listened. Some outsiders gathered because they saw the body language of the men in the circle change and they sensed an argument was about to break out. And they certainly didn’t want to miss an argument!
“I was blind from my birth. One day Jesus came by and spit on the ground, made clay out of it and put it on my eyes and then had me go to the pool of Siloam and wash it off and when I did, I could see!” (John 9:6a‑7)
Several people in the slowly gathering crowd let out a barely suppressed laugh. Some gasped. The speaker seemed serious. One man couldn't hold back, "He SPIT in some mud and put THAT on your eyes?!?!?!" The formerly blind man nodded. "I believe that because this is how it happened to me, the only proper way to heal is to just say the right words, then spit on some mud and rub the clay on the place that needs healing and lay on hands, and the person will be healed."
Things were REALLY starting to heat up now. From among the crowd that had grown around the original four men several groups could be seen forming based upon who was holding allegiance to which man based on his story.
A fourth man cleared his throat. "Ahem." Everyone quieted down to listen. “I have been listening to you. Jesus also healed me of blindness, but not in the ways it happened to you. For one thing, my healing was not instantaneous. Jesus didn't rub mud on MY eyes...but He DID spit on them. It took two tries before I was fully healed. I believe that since this is how it happened to me, the only proper way to heal is to say the right words, spit on the place that needs healing and then lay on hands. The person will be healed but
you may have to do it several times." (Mark 8:22‑25)
The crowd erupted! Several people pointed at the last speaker and shouted, "The problem wasn't Jesus! If you had your act together He would have been able to heal you the first time!" One man pointed at both him and the other man and said, "If you had more faith He wouldn't have had to use spit!" The man whose story was that Jesus just spoke to him and he was healed just shook his head with a superior grin on his face. Everyone was taking sides.
Suddenly a blind man stepped into the circle.... everyone became quiet. "Jesus never spoke to me. He never touched me. I am still blind. But when I heard about you being healed, I asked Him to be my Lord and save me." No one moved.
"I believe that He would have me say this to you today. Jesus said, ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:35) and the Psalmist said that we should dwell in unity”. (Psalm 133:1‑3). "Our brother Paul, who used to kill us, spoke a prayer over us and I say it over you this day. “I hope the eyes of your understanding will be opened, that you would know real hope and the riches of God and how much greater His power is than ours. Resurrection power! I pray God will lead you to really know Jesus!” (Ephesians 1:18-23) The little blind man then turned and walked away.
We all have something that we want the Lord to fix in us and we've begged Him to do so but it seems as if it is taking too long. Sometimes it looks as if nothing is happening at all. At times it has happened....but we don't see it because we only have eyes to see it the way we always thought it would happen. We know someone who believes the basics the way we do, who disagrees on the particulars and we argue the differences. We cannot see what we hold in common.
Our focus is elsewhere.
The Lord has touched each of us uniquely because we’ve never been duplicated. We're all like “skin-clad made-to-be-restored to the image of God” snowflakes.. We all receive differently.
The man into whose eyes Jesus rubbed his spit needed that. Some were doubtlessly disgusted by it; but that man received a very intimate touch from Jesus. The man in whose eyes Jesus rubbed spit‑moistened clay....needed to feel that clay there...and needed to feel it being washed away...along with the blindness. The man on whose eyes Jesus laid his dry hands needed to feel Christ's skin on his eyelids. The man who merely heard a word from Jesus’ lips was built to respond to a word....uttered by the living Word of God.
Saul....turned Paul....needed to receive sight at the hands of a man he was sent out to arrest. Made blind, then made to see.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Jesus has preached and DOES preach the gospel to the poor, all sorts of poor....not just people without money.......the poor in spirit as well. Jesus has healed and DOES heal the brokenhearted. Jesus has preached and DOES preach deliverance to the captives, all sorts of captives....not just people in jail or in bad situations. He also preaches deliverance to those hooked into compulsions and addictions.
Jesus has preached and DOES preach the recovering of sight to the blind and not just physically blind people. He also gives spiritual sight to the spiritually blind.....and sometimes we are like that last formerly blind man....we need to keep coming back for more. Jesus has preached and preach the freeing of those who are hurt.... physically, emotionally and spiritually.
And Jesus has preached and DOES preach the acceptable year of the Lord (NOW is that year), however, we must allow Him to work at His pace. He knows best how it is to look when it happens to us. Jesus did what He said He would. Sometimes it doesn't look like we thought it would. We must accept His healing, deliverance, restoration of sight, liberty on His terms to really appreciate it.
Pastor Mike McInerney
Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.
© April 18, 2016 (originally written June 18, 1997)
(For use by permission)