Mark 8:21–26 (ESV) — 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
This is a telling picture of the disciples up to this point. After getting into the boat, Jesus mentions that they should be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees. But all they hear is yeast and think we don’t have any bread (v. 16). Jesus, you can see, is frustrated at their lack of understanding. Then Mark gives us a picture of what that looks like in the healing of this blind man. At first, he can see, kind of. But he says, “people, but they look like trees, walking.” So Jesus touches his eyes again, and finally, he can see. Right after this, as they were walking along the way, Jesus asked his disciples who they think he is. They come up with several answers, but Peter nails it saying you are the Christ. Finally understanding. Until Jesus comes and touches our eyes, we also remain in darkness, lacking true understanding. But when the Holy Spirit regenerates us, our eyes are opened, and we see Jesus. Lack of understanding is often associated with blindness. Before Christ opens our eyes, we are blind to our lost condition. But like repentance, which is the daily need to turn away from sin, and towards God, we also need to seek daily for more understanding. When we come to God’s word, we need our eyes to be open so that we can understand the glorious truths only God can reveal to us.
Father, you who give sight to the blind, and understanding to those who are in darkness, give sight to our eyes. So that we may see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Help us to understand both who you are, and consequently, who we are in light of the gospel. Forgive our lack of understanding, and give us more grace, so that we may walk in the path of wisdom with understanding. For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.