Sermon #33                                                               Series: Mark


          Title:           “He Took The Blind Man By The Hand”

          Text:           Mark 8:22-26

          Readings:  Office: James Jordan Auditorium: Buddy Daugherty

          Subject:     The Healing of the Blind Man at Bethsaida

Date:          Sunday Evening - November 16, 1997

          Tape #       U-25




Mark 8:22-26  "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."


          This is another of those miracles related by none of the other Evangelists. Mark alone was inspired to tell us about the healing of this blind man.


None of our Lord’s miracles were accidental or mere representations of his supernatural power over physical things. Every miracle performed by the Master was designed to teach us spiritual, gospel truths, particularly truths about the workings of his grace in his elect. On this occasion, we see a blind man who was healed gradually, by degrees. This is the only time in the New Testament that happened. So, we might properly expect that that is, in itself, highly significant and instructive.


Proposition:      The healing of this blind man is a picture of the way God saves chosen, redeemed sinners by the almighty power and grace of his Holy Spirit.


          Keep your Bibles open on your laps and follow the account here given by Mark of this remarkable event. I pray that as our Lord Jesus took this poor blind man by the hand he will take you by his hand and lead you to himself, giving you light, and grace, and life by his almighty power.


I.     Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends (v. 22).


Mark 8:22  "And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him."


          Mark tells us three simple, but very important and instructive things in this verse.


A.  This man was blind.


          In that fact, he is representative of all men in their natural, unregenerate state. Whether religious or irreligious, educated or uneducated, all human beings are spiritually blind. This poor man did not have so much as one faint, glimmering ray of light until the Lord Jesus touched him.


          That is exactly the case with all of us naturally. It is not that there is a lack of light, but a lack of sight.


Romans 3:11  "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."


1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."


B.  This poor blind man’s friends brought him to the Master.


          We are not told that this blind man believed anything or expected anything from the Lord at all. He seems to have come to the place where the Master was simply because his friends persuaded him to do so. What a blessed man he was to have such friends.


1.   He did not know Christ, but his friends did.

2.   He did not believe Christ, but his friends did.

3.   He would never have come to Christ, but his friends brought him.


C. Having done all that they could do, this blind man’s friends “besought the Lord Jesus to touch him”!


          They could not heal him, but they knew Christ could. This blind man, it appears, did not have sense enough to pray for himself. So his friends prayed for him.


II.  The lord jesus took the blind man by the hand (v. 23).


          Oh, how I pray that he would do that for you who yet do not know him! Can you imagine how elated, how thrilled, how excited this man’s friends were when they saw the Master stretch out that arm which they knew was the arm of omnipotence in mercy, love, and grace to their friend?


Mark 8:23  "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."


A.  First the Master took him by the hand.


          That was in itself an act of great condescension. But here is a far greater act of condescension. One day he Lord Jesus took me by the hand!


1.   If he takes you into his hand, he will open your blind eyes.

2.   If he takes you by the hand, he will never let you go.

3.   If he takes you by the hand, you are perfectly safe. No man can pluck you out of his hand.

4.   If he takes you by the hand in time, he took you in his hand before time began.


When the Lord Jesus takes sinners by the hand, he “becomes their guide and leader. A better, and safer guide they cannot have. He brings them by a way they know not, and leads them in paths they had not known before; makes darkness light before them, and crooked things straight, and does not forsake them.”                                     John Gill


B.  Next, he led him out of the town.


          When the Son of God saves his people, he calls them out of the world. He bids us come unto him without the camp.


·        Outside The Camp Of Human Religion.

·        Outside The Camp Of Worldly Ambition.

·        Outside The Camp Of Sin’s Dominion.

·        Outside The Camp Unto Him!


C. Then the Savior spit on his eyes and touched him.


1.   The spit from the Savior’s lips represents the eye salve of the gospel with which the Son of God anoints the eyes of the blind.


Revelation 3:18  "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."


2.   The touch of his hand is the symbol of his omnipotent grace, without which the means of grace is utterly useless.


3.   This is, perhaps above all else, a picture of our Lord’s sovereignty in the exercise of his grace.


          God will not be put in a box. He never limits himself and cannot be limited by men. He heals some gradually and others immediately, some with spit and others without any (M. 10:46-52).


          All saved sinners trust the same Savior, experience the same grace, and believe the same gospel. But we do not all experience grace the same way.


Illustration: Spit in the Eye Baptists and Non-Spit in the Eye Baptists


D. The Lord Jesus required a confession from this blind man. “He asked him if he saw light.”


          Remember, this man had not expressed any faith in the Son of God. He had not even acknowledged his blindness and need of cure. Now the Master requires him to acknowledged both his infirmity and the power of God he had experienced.


1.   There is no salvation apart from a personal confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:1-10; 1 John 1:9).


Romans 10:1-10  "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (5) For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


1 John 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


          Secret disciples are always suspect disciples. No one can be looked upon, treated as, or think of himself as a child of God until Christ is confessed. Our Savior requires and deserves that we confess him before men.


2.   The believer’s confession of faith involves several things. This is not a one time thing, but a lifelong experience.


·        Heart Confession.

·        Lip Confession.

·        Baptism Confession.

·        Life Confession.

·        Faith Confession - From the lips of the fallen (Peter).

·        Judgment Day Confession.


III. In verses 24 - 25, we see that the light of god’s grace comes To Some gradually.


Mark 8:24-25  "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."


          Christ, who is the Light of the world and came preaching the recovering of sight to the blind (Luke 4:18) now gives what he proclaimed, and compelled the man who had received his sight to tell what had happened to him.


          This blind man confessed exactly what he knew and had experienced, no more and no less. He was not delivered from his blindness all at once, but by degrees. He saw a little, but not much and not clearly and he did not pretend to see what he did not see.


A.  This blind man received his sight gradually.


          The work was as truly gracious, miraculous, and glorious as the healing of Bartemaeus, the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, and the healing of the leper. But I was less spectacular. However, it is not a miracle to be despised and ignored because it was gradually performed. Our Lord hereby shows us that his works of grace in the lives of chosen sinners are sometimes gradual. Men and women usually come to light and understanding in spiritual things gradually.


                   Illustrations:      Lydia and The Jailer

                                                Saul and Cornelius


          J.C. Ryle, made three very simple, but profoundly instructive comments about this man’s experience and the lessons it is intended to convey.


1.   “We are all naturally blind and ignorant in the matters which concern our souls.”


2.   “Conversion is an illumination, a change from darkness to light, from blindness to seeing the kingdom of God.”


3.   “Few converted people see things distinctly at first.”


          While we are rightfully insistent that there is no saving faith, no conversion, no true salvation apart from the knowledge of Christ (John 17:3) in his true character as he is revealed in the gospel, we readily acknowledge that saving knowledge may be, indeed, always is in this world very partial.


·        Peter

·        The Woman with An Issue of Blood


          Do you understand what I am saying? Light is light; but it usually comes to our sin blinded souls by degrees. We all see spiritual things gradually…


·        First the sinfulness of our deeds, then the sinfulness of our hearts!

·        First the suitableness and ability of Christ to redeem and save, then his willingness to save me!

·        First the fact of forgiveness, then the experience of forgiveness.

·        First the good news of the gospel then the great truths of the gospel.


B.  This man’s healing was soon completed.


The Son of God never does his work partially. Once he has begun his work of grace in a man’s soul, he never stops working until he says, “It is finished” (See. Phil. 1:6).




A.  As long as we live in this world we see as through a glass darkly.


          We are like men traveling by night. We see what the light before us reveals. But we see very little around us. We see many things here that we simply do not understand, particularly in matters of providence. There are many things in the Word of God as well, which we simply do not understand. We are at best able to perceive spiritual things, like this man, as trees walking, so long as we live in his world.


B.  The time will soon come when we shall see all things clearly.


When the Lord Jesus comes again, our spiritual eyesight will be greatly improved!




Mark 8:26  "And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town."


Notice, the Savior did not forbid him to tell it to others, but he must not tell it to any in the town. Those who had despised Christ’s favors had forfeited them forever.


Sometimes the Lord will make people know the value of their privileges by taking their privileges away.


Matthew Henry wrote, “Bethsaida, in the day of her visitation, would not know the things that belonged to her peace, and now they are hid from her eyes. They will not see, and therefore shall not see.”




          Has the Lord Jesus sent his Spirit to you? Has he opened your blind eyes and cased you to see?