Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
There are two stories in today’s reading that are very instructive for us. In the first, the disciples are in the boat with Jesus when someone remembers that they had forgotten to pack a lunch. When Jesus spoke about the leaven of the Pharisees, meaning their teaching of self righteous and superficial deeds in order to earn God’s favor, one of the disciples asked if he was talking about the forgotten lunch. They were stressing over where the lunch was coming from, can you believe it? They thought he was stressing too. What’s hard to believe is they and a crowd of four thousand had just been feed miraculously with just a few loaves and fishes. Six months before, more had been fed with less. Why would Jesus be stressed over where lunch would come from if he can do that? He rebukes the disciples for their cold heart that caused them to forget their past experience and his capabilities. I can’t say much, I seem to forget what he has done myself. The God that loved you yesterday still loves you today. He has not taken us this far to forget us! Guard your heart against the forgetfulness that will cause you to lose your focus and rob you of joy.
The second story in our reading is a miracle like no other in the Gospels. On every other miracle of Christ in the Gospels the results are instant. He heals handicapped people without even a little bit of physical therapy or recovery time afterward. Lame legs walk and jump immediately, people with hearing and speech problems need no help to speak clearly on every other occasion except this one. This is the only time he heals in stages. A blind man is brought to Jesus. Like the miracle of the man we discussed recently that could not hear, Jesus led him to a place where they were alone. I believe that Jesus was showing the need for personal faith, that the work of Christ is an individual work in each believer. I also believe this guarantees the first face this man sees will the Lord’s. Jesus again uses his spit as a balm of healing, illustrating that what proceeds from the mouth of God is what he uses to open spiritually blind eyes.
The word of God is what convicts and converts every sinner saved by grace so they can sing, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”
The man in our story could see after the first touch, but not clearly. He could see men but they looked like trees walking. He saw people as objects not as individuals. He needed a second touch and he got it. Jesus touched him so that he could see clearly. Oh how we need the second touch! Oh, how I need it!
We need to see people like Jesus sees them. The man that you hate has a never dying soul for which Jesus died. The person that gets on your nerves has a heart with hurts that need healing. Lord, help me see! Women are not objects for the amusement of men but individuals made in the image of God. Oh, how I need the second touch! Every individual that crosses our path today will spend eternity somewhere. What would happen if all of us who claimed to have received the saving touch of Jesus began to see everyone around us like Jesus does? Jesus, help us see!