Tuesday, 6:14 AM, reading Mark: “His eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
This morning, that’s what happened to me, too. (OK, maybe not everything is clear. And maybe it’s been taking place over more than just this morning.)
But those scriptural words hooked my bleary attention, somehow reaching me through my foggy brain. (Oy. It was early.)
The line seems redundant: Yes, he sees now, we get it. But actually, just prior, this man was in state of seeing people dimly, as “trees walking around.” And just before that he was fully blind.
His sight gets progressively better.
A few verses later Peter tries to intercede in the future suffering Jesus predicts for himself. But Jesus rebukes his disciple, and he isn’t delicate about it. “Get behind me, Satan!” isn’t a correction you’d expect even from a mean teacher. Jesus further chastises him for focusing on mere human issues rather than those of God (v.33).
Good grief. In the past I would have taken this story as a command not to value anything of my own mundane life in comparison to lofty goals for the glory of God. (Exactly what those noble goals would be, I’m not sure. But they would be glorious.)
I would have felt condemned for feeling attached to any of my earthly concerns instead of self-sacrifice in the name of God. (Esh, I hope I didn’t scare anyone there. Just telling it like it was.)
But now I think Jesus was issuing a specific, in-context warning. Peter had just declared Jesus is Christ. The Messiah! Peter’s sure of that much (v. 29), yet he’s still blind to the ultimate mission that Jesus is on.
“Can’t you see?” Jesus is asking. “I have to do this, go through this coming ordeal — and you have to let me, if you know who I am. What else am I here for? Don’t even think to hinder me in this!”
And with that ultimate mission now complete, our earthly life’s concerns are mercifully (fused and) infused with the Spirit.
The blind man sees progressively more clearly. I see progressively more clearly.
(Verse note: Mark 8:22-33)