“And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village…Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, ‘Do not even enter the village.’” Mark 8:22-26
I’m not sure what the motivation was for the people who begged Jesus to touch this blind man. It may have been a pure desire for his healing, or it may have been along the lines of the Pharisees in verse 11 of this chapter, who came to Jesus seeking a sign from heaven to test Him. Whatever was in the hearts of this group, Jesus shows us a different reaction than some may expect.
Instead of using this opportunity to call attention to His power, to gain favor or to prove a point, Jesus leads the man away from the crowd. He still brings healing, but He does it in such a way to show that this is about a personal connection, a moment specifically between the Savior, the Healer, the Redeemer and Lord, and the one in desperate need of what only He can give.
Throughout the accounts of His life, we see Jesus charge those He healed to not broadcast it among the people. His acts of healing weren’t done to bring attention to Himself or to put on a show. They were done out of compassion and perfect love for the individual. He knew their heart. He knew their story and their pain, all of the hurt and disappointment that they had dealt with. And He wanted to bring healing to them not only on a physical level, but to heal them wholly and breathe new life into their soul—a much deeper and more vital need. The healing of Christ in us, whether physically or emotionally or spiritually (or all of the above), is a display of His power, and He is most definitely worthy of praise, and we are to share what He has done in our lives, but not as a show. The purpose must be Him. The purpose must be to share love, to share grace, to share hope, to highlight His greatness so that the person you’re talking to can recognize that they have a Savior who cares about them very personally.
The beauty I’m seeing in this passage is the truth that Jesus doesn’t see us as just a generic mass of hurting people. He sees you. He draws your heart because He loves you, saves you, calls you, and heals you. Hear Him speaking to you today. Follow Him away from the crowd, and let Him do what only He can. And rejoice in the perfection and the love of our God who saves.