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Author Topic: Mark 8:22-26  (Read 1018 times) Average Rating: 0
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Myrrh23
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« on: December 16, 2008, 07:37:14 AM »

This is the reading of the Blind Man of Bethsaida. In this reading, Jesus heals a blind man by laying His hands on him twice. My question is, why does Jesus twice heal the man's eyes? Thank you! Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 09:02:57 AM »

This is the reading of the Blind Man of Bethsaida. In this reading, Jesus heals a blind man by laying His hands on him twice. My question is, why does Jesus twice heal the man's eyes? Thank you! Smiley

Going by memory (I don't have the time to look it up right now) doesn't he first see blurry images?  I've seen commentary that compares that to the spiritual journey, that we do not see clearly at first but persevere until we do.  It is a proof text against OSAS and other such cheap grace nonsense.
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 09:05:24 AM »

Thanks, Ialmisry! Grin
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 10:05:58 AM »

Going by memory (I don't have the time to look it up right now) doesn't he first see blurry images? 

The first time, Jesus spits on his eyes and lays His hands on the man; when He asks the man what he can see, he responds "I see men, but they look like trees, walking."  It is after this that Christ lays His hands on the man the second time and the man's sight is fully restored.  (Christ then tells him not to return to the village...)
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 02:49:05 PM »

Last week a Muslim writer at the FFI forum brought up this part from Mark's Gospel and contended that this two-stage miracle (peculiar to Mark) denied Jesus' omnipotence! I responded to this assertion by simply saying that Jesus actually opened the eyes of the blind man the first time He tried. However, the man's sight reached perfection gradually. 

The following day I realised that the Muslim writer had quoted this argument from an article of a famous anti-Christian Islamic apologist named Shabir, whose mistaken presumption had been rebutted several times by the answering-islam team.

This is what Shabir wrote:

Christians and Muslims agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. The Gospels show that Jesus was not all-powerful, for he had some limitations. Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus was unable to do any powerful work in his hometown (ch. 6, vv. 5-6). Mark also tells us that when Jesus tried to heal a certain blind man, the man was not healed after the first attempt, and Jesus had to try a second time (see Mark ch. 8, v. 22-26). Therefore, although we have the utmost love and respect for Jesus, we need to understand that he is not the all-powerful God.

The answering-islam team debunked Shabir's baseless claims and gave an answer similar to the one given by brother ialmisry:

In relation to the blind man not seeing immediately notice what the following commentaries state is the purpose behind Mark recording this episode:

    "The importance of this story for Mark is that it anticipates the opening of the eyes of the disciples. This is the second in a pair of incidents that only Mark records (the first one is 7:24-37) and that fulfill the OT messianic expectations of Isa 35:5-6. Mark uses both incidents to lead up to the full revelation of Jesus' messianic dignity to the disciples (8:27-30). Their eyes too were opened, not by human perception, but by the miracle of God's gracious revelation- which was as much a miracle as the opening of the blind man's eyes." (Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary Volume 2: New Testament [Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids MI, 1994], p. 166)

The St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible, one that Shabir highly recommends states:

    "8, 22-26: Jesus' actions and the gradual cure of the blind man probably have the same purpose as in the case deaf man (Mk 7, 31-37). Some commentators regard the cure as an intended symbol of the gradual enlightenment of the disciples concerning Jesus' messiahship."

That Christ's miracles often served to illustrate certain spiritual truths can be seen from the Gospel of Mark itself. After Jesus' second miraculous multiplication of food where he fed four thousand men, Mark records:

    "Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 'Be careful,' Jesus warned them. 'Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.' They discussed this with one another and said, 'It is because we have no bread.' Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' 'Twelve,' they replied. 'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' They answered, 'Seven.' He said to them, 'Do you still not understand?'" Mark 8:13-21

Christ expects the disciples to see the spiritual significance behind his miraculous feeding of the multitudes. Interestingly, this conversation immediately precedes the healing of the blind man. This reinforces the point made above that the blind man's healing signified the gradual enlightenment of the disciples.


The rest of Shabir's charges and his rebuttal can be found at http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/omnipotent.htm

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 03:45:30 PM »

This is the reading of the Blind Man of Bethsaida. In this reading, Jesus heals a blind man by laying His hands on him twice. My question is, why does Jesus twice heal the man's eyes? Thank you! Smiley

Going by memory (I don't have the time to look it up right now) doesn't he first see blurry images?  I've seen commentary that compares that to the spiritual journey, that we do not see clearly at first but persevere until we do.  It is a proof text against OSAS and other such cheap grace nonsense.

It is also prudent to read this passage with regards to spiritual infancy.  The man has been given the gift of sight but doesn't know how to use it and only when he is touched again by God does it begin to "really" work.  This is an allegory in that our work for salvation, it needs continual work and refreshment from none other than God itself so that we do truly see.
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 05:44:36 PM »

The rest of Shabir's charges and his rebuttal can be found at http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/omnipotent.htm



Shabir shouldn't try to disprove Christianity with it's Gospel, because the Gospel also says that Our Lord Jesus Christ also gave sight to a man born blind (John 9). This means He did not restore something which once existed, but rather, He made something completely new. It was an act of Creation- which is why He made clay and applied it (John 9:6). It was God who made us out of clay.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 05:46:40 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 03:43:59 AM »

The rest of Shabir's charges and his rebuttal can be found at http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/omnipotent.htm



Shabir shouldn't try to disprove Christianity with it's Gospel, because the Gospel also says that Our Lord Jesus Christ also gave sight to a man born blind (John 9). This means He did not restore something which once existed, but rather, He made something completely new. It was an act of Creation- which is why He made clay and applied it (John 9:6). It was God who made us out of clay.

Shabir and many other Muslim writers abuse the Gospels (through deliberate distortion) to prove their fallacious arguments. The foremost example of that is their zeal to interpret the promised Comforter in Jesus' farewell discourse in John as Mohammad rather than the Holy Spirit. Such Muslims are in the grip of a dilemma: they refute the canonical Gospels as a corrupted and mostly man-made scripture, but need the same scripture to convince people that Islam is the only true and reliable religion from above. How pathetic and hypocritical!


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