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This story is about healing.
Actually it is about three different cases of healing blind men and Jesus healed all of them.

What is interesting is that He did it in different ways each time and that is something we need to remember if we want to "be successful" in our Christian service.
We need to find out what God wants on any given occasion and do that...nothing else.

That is how Jesus operated. He only said what the Father said and only did what He saw the Father do.
This in itself should be an object lesson for everyone of us.
May we all emulate Him.

When Jesus spat on that man's eyes, He deposited His DNA on the man and gave him more than physical eyesight.

He changed his attitudes and mindsets.

his man had apparently been able to see before but for some reason had lost his eyesight. The Lord therefore restored something to him that he once had, but had lost.
During his condition however his whole attitude to life had changed and Jesus had to deal with that.
He first restored his physical eyesight, but the man did not see things in the right perspective.
Sometimes He has do do likewise with us.

Another man never had eyesight from birth. He had nothing to start with so Jesus gave him more than eyesight, but a whole new way of life.
He also spat to do that, but this time, He spat on the ground and made mud.

He smeared that dirt all over the man's eyes and told him to go to the pool and wash it off.
Once again, Jesus deposited HIs DNA on something , but this time it was for a totally different reason.

The third man in our story is about Bartimaeus. He had hear that Jesus was in town, so yelled his head off to grab the Lord's attention.

People tried to shut him down. The church did not want him. The pastors did not want him. The elders and deacons did not want him, but  Jesus did!

Bartimaeus received his eyesight but something else happened. He started to follow Jesus. He became a disciple.

We shall start with Bartimaeus...

And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. Mark 10:46

As we often see, many stories in the bible lead into others. We have a tendency to gloss over things and take them for granted. As a result, we can miss out on something wonderful, or something really out of the box and can not see the fuller picture. It is like watching a western movie and start part way through as the hero rides off on his horse into the setting sun and the bad guy laying on the ground after a shootout.
What happened before that? What led up to the encounter? Did the hero get his lady? Where did he go next?

Sometimes the events in the bible are like that.
All that Mark told us is that Jesus was going to Jerusalem and then went into Jericho!
We do not really know what happened in the city, but knowing Jesus (as I think I do), something had to have happened there as usual. Jesus rattled religious cages, challenged the status quo, preached and taught about the Kingdom of God and met whatever needs were present. I cannot find a place where something never happened. People were healed, set free from all kinds of  things, often fed when they got hungry, lives were changed and people were given a hope and a future.
That’s what it is all about. We are called by God to do precisely the same things and if so, we must ascertain what those things are and emulate the Lord.

Whatever happened in Jericho had impacted the place so much that a crowd came out of the city following Him and in the process, surely someone would have talked about it! Some of those conversations must have included what Jesus did!
“Did you see that?” Didn’t He teach well?” “What about that lame man who stood up when Jesus  spoke to him?” “I saw little widow Jones’ purse suddenly get filled with coins after she threw her two pennies into the offering bag” “Susan’s son had epilepsy and Jesus healed him.” I know that people will follow the spectacular. Jesus said so, but we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater because of excesses and loopy behavior of some, the hype and formalized religion of others, and ignore the things He did, telling us we should also do. Those are the very things that drew people to Him.

As He was leaving town, He passed by a man sitting on the ground who was begging. He was called Bartimaeus (meaning son of the unclean) and he was sitting there. Most times we call him “blind Bartimaeus”, but that is wrong! That is putting something on him! If I took it further, possibly as far as I dare, it could be very close to cursing the man! We keep declaring him to be a blind man! Put yourself in his shoes when every time you come to church, people would greet you with “Hello blind {your-name}”. If someone keeps telling you such things, it is possible to start believing it and once you do that...and start saying it also... you are making a self-fulfilling prophecy over yourself! It happens! Actually, his name is not really Bartimaeus. It is a means of identification. Bartimaeus is not really a proper name and he should have been called son of Timaeus, so it seems that we really put tags on people when we shouldn’t.

This has led us to something  of great importance—and it is sadly more often than not overlooked in many churches.

Jesus had finished His assignment!

He only did what He saw the Father do, said that the Father said and always did the will of the Father.
It seems that at no time did He plan on ministering to Barty! The church meeting was over; the offerings taken; communion shared; the benediction pronounced and he was walking to the car that was to take Him home!

Regardless of what we are doing, it is best to be attuned to the voice of the Spirit. Sometimes in our enthusiasm, we may not know when to stop and  that can be as bad as missing an opportunity. I recall the time when I met someone and asked the question, “Do you know Jesus?” They replied, “No.” I then asked them if they wanted to and they said, “Yes” and I led them to the Lord. I wish it were always that easy, but this person was ready. On other occasions, we can sweat, fuss and fume and, despite everything we do or say, there seems to be no response. One thing we can forget is that the Holy Spirit is the person to do the drawing and the hard work! See Matthew 11:25-30; John 6:44, 65;14:6.
I have seen other people turned away simply because we did not know when to shut up, or someone says the “sinner’s prayer” because they were pressurized into it and they only complied to get relief. They never got saved at all.

 

As I have often said before, I receive numerous invitations to minister somewhere, let us say in Africa and although I long to return, the Lord has not granted permission to me yet. If I went prematurely, I would in essence be disobedient.
I did that once and it placed our lives at risk. We all need to learn such things.

 

Jesus therefore, who had learned these things as we see in Hebrews 5:8 had completed His present assignment when one man found out that He had been in town and started calling out to Him, addressing Him in an unusual way.
If he was blind, how did he know? Someone had to have told him Jesus was around.

 

There are times in our lives when God is passing by and we too may need somone to tell us. We know that He wants to bless everyone and not see one precious soul go to hell, but in real life, what He wants does not always happen because of our power of choice. God wants us to choose wisely and there are times when it is up to us to respond.
God can walk right by without stopping, depending on our responses.
Jesus could have intended resting after ministering and would have kept going but for one thing—it was as I said, the way Bartimaeus addressed Him.

 

If you read the account in Mark 6:48 of how Jesus walked on the water, He was going to walk right past the disciples and not stop, because He was on a mission. He had already told them that He would meet them in Bēthsaida so there was no debate that they would not meet Him there . No storm would prevent Him from fulfilling His assignment.

We’ve got to learn that if God is on an assignment—and has sent us on one—that’s what is to be foremost in our hearts and minds. We have to do what He said—no more and no less. He will work things out.

Jesus was not stopping for anyone but someone changed it all and it was a man no one wanted to know or be around. The preachers did not want him to mess up their church. The board did not want a beggar in rags sitting outside their church. The members of the church did not want a dirty, smelly unkept beggar messing things up outside their church. No matter what they tried to do, he stayed put and kept yelling out loudly for help that had never come. One person must have told him that Jesus is in town and that He is walking down the road right now past the door of the church—not into the church. No one in that church knew who Jesus was! This is a serious matter that is all too prevalent. If Jesus walked into some churches today, many people would freak right out. In Revelation 3:20, the Lord was talking to the church, not to sinners, saying-
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Bartimaeus knew something that the people didn’t, but he was a beggar who they did not want around! He knew that Jesus was King and that is what he acknowledged!
He got the Lord’s attention asking Him to have mercy on him, addressing Him as the Son of David. That was a powerful statement and it was prophetic! Bartimaeus was proclaiming Him publicly that He was not only the promised Messiah, but the King that God had spoken about hundreds of years beforehand. God had told David this-

...And I will give you rest from all your enemies. “‘Furthermore, the LORD declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings!  For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong.
He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever.
I will be his father, and he will be my son... 2 Samuel 7:11-14

Isaiah said-
...then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right. Isaiah 16:5

The New Testament opens with this-
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew 1:1

In Matthew 12:22-23, when Jesus healed people, they were amazed asking if He was the son of David and the religious folk wanted none of that. Mathew also said-
And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.
And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. Matthew 20:29-34


Here we see that when blind men found that Jesus was passing by, they used the same means of addressing Jesus  that Bartimaeus used and the Lord stopped. His response was the same on each occasion. He asked the blind people what they wanted of Him and they received their eyesight—because they released their faith.
Mark said something very interesting-

Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’
Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?
” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.


Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.” Mark 12:35-40

One point I want to make is that the ordinary people joyfully received Him, but the religious leaders did not. There is a human trait in that we form opinions and mindsets. We hold to pre-conceived ideas and in so doing, risk tying the hands of God so that He cannot do a thing for us. Jesus Himself admitted that He could not do any great miracles in His own home town for such reasons. A prophet is often without honor... (Matthew 13:57-58; Mark 6:1-6).
I recommend that you read up more on the theme of the Son of David, because it is extremely important. The day will come when this prophesied Son will indeed rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of lords.  By acknowledging Him now, it can change the whole climate of your life. See Luke 1:32-33; John 7:40-43; Romans 1:1-5; Revelation 5:1-5.
There is also reference in scripture to restoring the Tabernacle of David and that...is an amazing topic in itself!

I want to close on this segment with this. We are dealing with healing here and blindness to be specific and as we will see, Jesus ministered to different situations in a different manner every time.
We cannot keep doing the same things the same way every time, because it just does not work.
May we learn to trust the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us to the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, even if it means we have to get out of our personal comfort zones and established ways of doing things.
In this instance, Jesus healed blindness by responding to a call for help and giving the people involved the task of using their own faith to get it done.

Now for the interesting parts. There are two and on both occasions, Jesus spat.

In our society that is uncouth. We just don’t expectorate in public, do we? Not only is it disgusting and offensive, it is against the law in many countries and can invoke legal prosecution of offenders—but Jesus did spit and He did it in a most unusual manner for a specific reason.


Before we continue, permit me to give a brief description of something called DNA.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.
Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA.
The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases and human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people.
DNA is a uniqely wondereful complex code that makes us who we are.
No two human beings have the same code and what is interesting is that this code can make copies of itself and this happens every moment of every day in our bodies.
New cells are recreated with exactly the same codes as the old ones to maintain our very existence and being.
As those old cells dies out, the new ones replace them and we are not aware of it. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully created...in the image and likeness of God

Jesus spat

And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 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.
And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town. Mark 8:22-26

Jesus spat on this man's eyes! Please take note that He led the man out of town first! He took him away from religious people, naysayers, doubters and those folk who wanted nothing other than to see a performance.

Imagine the man standing there as the Lord swished spittle around in His mouth before letting go. Imagine the reactions of this man as that stuff suddenly hit him. It would have taken completely by surprise, if not shock, but sometimes that is precisely what we need.
There are times when we need to be shocked out of our complacency.

There are times when we must get out of our comfort zones and there are times when we have to renew our whole way of thinking.

I briefly mentioned DNA for a reason.

Jesus deposited His DNA on that man!

When God comes into our lives, His “DNA” has to come on us and change us. His life coming into our lives makes us into different people to what we were beforehand. We cannot remain unchanged. Paul describes it as being made into a new creation in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

The first thing that Jesus did was to perform a restorative miracle!

This man knew what trees look like and he knew what men look like, so this means that he had lost his eyesight.
 

If the Lord had placed His DNA on the man and asked him what he saw, He knew that the man was healed!

Jesus did not need to try something to see if it worked, or have gone off thinking as we can, “Oh well. I blew it that time”. He could have simply walked away, but He stayed with this man and laid His hands on Him.
Please remember that God will never ever walk away from you. He will stay with you right in the midst of your drama because He wants  to fix it!

The man had grown accustomed to his problem! He had adapted to not being able to see things any longer. He had become complacent. In other words, what happened to him, shaped and moulded him and he had started to live and think accordingly.

Jesus had to now deal with a mindset! He often has to deal  with our mindsets also. Complacency is deadly. The Lord spoke sternly to the churches in Revelation chapters two and three about such things. What He said there addresses issues in the chruch of today.

When the Lord then laid His hands on the man, He told him to look up.

He had normal eyesight now, but he was looking at things incorrectly.

Sometimes all we can see are our problems. Sometimes we keep looking back at our past or our inadequacies. Sometimes we do not want to let go of hurts, failures, disappointments, unfulfilled dreams and expectations and the like. Sometimes we look at the things of God through preconceived ideas and mindsets, denominational theologies and experiences and all kinds of things that may have influenced our lives.

We can see with the natural eye, but we cannot see clearly with the eye of the spirit and Jesus told him to look up, which he then started to do. Once he did that, he admitted that he could then see things clearly.

One thing that had to happen next was to make sure that the man never returned, with clear instructions not to go back into that village, or even talk to anyone about what had happened. This is  very important.

Sometimes we want to blab and talk to everyone about what God had done, but hit a brick wall of negativity and unbelief, even opposition and these things can often come from other “Christians”.

When Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, He kicked everyone out of the house who should not be there. He removed negativity and unbelief. Those two things will shut the Holy Spirit down!

There are times when we must remove ourselves from the “old’. If the Lord has come into our lives and changed us, we cannot go back. What for? What to? If the “old” did not work before, why would you want to go back to it? Why return to failure?

We can come to the Lord and receive His DNA, but carry the old life with us and keep looking at everything from that perspective.

May we all start to look at things clearly. If God does something for us—never go back! Do not ever go back into that village!

Often times there is more than one operation involved. Different things have to happen in different ways at different times before the objective is reached.

Jesus spat...again

Our third and final part is when the Lord spat again and once more it was in association with healing blindness.
This time however, the man was born blind. Unlike the last man who had lost his eyesight, this man had never seen anything from birth.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”  “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.  We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.  But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes.
He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! John 9:1-7

This man’s problems were not really his fault. If we want to cast any blame on others as the disciples tried to do to him, we can lay them at Adam’s feet. Sickness is part of the fall, but it is not the end of the story. We do not deny sickness and should do all that we can to maintain health. After all, we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We have a duty of care, that many Christians ignore, to do all we can to keep our bodies healthy. Diet and nutrition are often overlooked and we eat anything and everything and we suffer from obesity, high blood pressures,  “bad” cholesterol, breathing disorders of all kinds and more unnecessarily. Talking to other Christians often produces blank stares and the desire to get off such topics and onto other matters—but we can be sick and refuse to follow the bible patterns of health.

This man had been born blind because of original sin, not his parent’s, his next door neighbor or anyone else just as we could have been and it was “not his fault”! Jesus’ reply was not that God caused the problem due to sin, but that God could do something about it so that men could say that God is indeed...God! He then continued like this, “We have not got much time left, so we have to get on with it” and then spat on the ground.

Again, He placed His DNA somewhere and it was that portion of soil that the KJV calls ground. The Greek word is Chamai, from which we get another word that talks of a chasm; a fissure in the soil and something that surprised me. It was a word that means to prostrate. To appreciate the significance, we have to go back to the  very beginning, to Genesis chapter two.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

The two words mentioned are dust and ground. The word for dust is āpar that basically means just what it says.
That is, fine portions or crumbs from the soil that God originally created. The word for ground is ’adāmâ that refers in essence to the very ground or soil on which we walk and from which we are formed. ʾādām was made out of this dirt and when analyzed, all of the basic chemical ingredients, elements or DNA are present. We call him Adam, but that is not really his name—it is his title.

When Jesus spat on that dirt and made clay, He injected His DNA into that...going right back to the original pattern.
This time, He was not going to restore something that had been lost—He was going to give the man something that  he never had before. Most of us need this. There are times when we need something we have never had before.

When he smeared that mess on the man’s face, it was not just as little token gesture. He laid it on thick. He layered that original Genesis dirt onto the man’s eyes to take him back to the original pattern. There are times when we have to go back to the original pattern.

What He did was to give that man the opportunity to start a totally new life—not a restoration of a previous life.

He then told him to go and wash it off. The man had to do that. There are times we must do something, not to try to make things happen, but to do our part, whilst God does His. There are things that God will never do, especially if He has already told us what to do. Conversely, there are times when He instructs us to cease doing some things, so the miracle we seek can often depend on our obedience to His specific word on that occasion.

This man was blind, but when Jesus put that stuff over his eyes, He compounded the problem! He made him doubly blind. In other words, He blinded him to his blindness.

If there are times when all we can see are our problems that may be poverty, sickness, opposition or whatever. If all we can see are those things, it consumes us. We talk about it. We beg. We fuss, fret and worry about it and nothing changes. We can become the product of our own imagination and conversation. Jesus had to blind that man from seeing his condition. He had to blind him to his blindness, just as He might have to blind you and me to our own state! He may have to blind our blindness. Ponder over it.

The Lord stayed with that other man but He told this man to go. How did he get to that pool if he couldn’t see a thing? The Lord certainly did not help him. He told the man what to do and then backed off. Sometimes He can tell us what to do and then He will back off. Sure, He never leaves us or forsakes us, but if God has revealed the answer to us, He will not necessarily “make it happen”—we have to do what He said and as we do that—it happens.
His eyes were coated over with dirt and his face was a mess—but he went to that pool nevertheless, because Jesus told him to and this meant that he took his mess with him.

When he washed his face, his mess turned into his miracle. I hope you saw that—his mess turned into his miracle—as he was doing what the Lord had instructed him to do. The Lord never healed him first. He was still blind as he was walking in obedience whilst Jesus never removed his present messy state.

The first man had to deal with attitude and possibly pride. The second man had to be obedient.

Your life may be a mess right now, but I am here to tell you that Jesus can turn your mess into a miracle.
Don’t try to fix things up yourself in the belief that only after then, you can come to God. It does not really work like that. Take your mess with you to Him and let Him apply His DNA to it—and then follow His instructions.
The Lord might be passing your way right now and, like Barty, you can determine in your own heart to make a “demand” on Him and His ability to do what is needed to be done in your life.
When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted. His reply was very specific. Bartimaeus never generalized.
He did not say, “Oh well, God knows what I need”. The Lord wanted him to be specific.

He asked him what he wanted and Bartimaeus said that he wanted to see properly.
I suspect he meant more than just receiving physical eyesight, but total vision and wholeness in every area of his life.
We can see this principle when the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus. She made a claim on Him and the Lord felt it, saying that virtue went out from Him into her (See Luke 8:48). Without getting into wierd doctrines here, the anointing can often become tangible. You can actually feel something.
The word for virtue is the same word used in Acts 1:8 when Jesus spoke of power or Dynamis.

Jesus told her that she had been physically healed or made whole and the word He used here is sōzō that means heal, healing, recover, save, saving, whole, wholly, wholesome, to save, deliver and protect.
He told her to go in peace and this word is Eirēnē that means peace, peacefulness, to join and prosperity.
The next word to look at is Hygiēs that talks of being totally healthy and well, not only physically, but soundness in doctrine and so on.
Jesus did much more than stop her bleeding. He restored her peace, social status, financial losses and perhaps restored family relationships  as well.

Therefore, when the Lord healed Bartimaeus...it was a complete work.
He  certainly got his eyesight, but his whole life was changed.
I know it was changed, because, according to Mark 10:52, he followed Jesus in the way. The word for way is Hodos speaking about how he lived from then on. It talks of a highway; a journey; a way of life; progression and so on. He became a disciple.

God has a way for you.
It may not be the same way he did it for me, or the same way He did something for you in the past, but He has the answer that you really need.

Jesus healed three cases of blindness three different ways.
Find out from Him “which way” He has in mind for you and then go in that direction, even if it means that you have to break the mould.
Follow His instructions to the letter. You can do it.

I hope this has been a blessing and an encouragement for you, so until next time, walk in the blessing.

Robert


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