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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bryant

Mark 8:22-26: Jesus Is the Only Way We'll See Jesus

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.”

I wonder at this, and this is what I have been wondering: why does the life in front of me seem to change shape. Why does life seem to be a different thing depending on how I’m doing? Why does life seem, at times, unbearable, and then, suddenly bearable? Why does life seem, at times, undoable, and then, suddenly eminently doable?

Sometimes I catch myself in a frazzle, feeling frayed along every edge. And I wonder, “When did life become a bunch of stuff I don’t want to do? When did life become a bunch of stuff I have to figure out? When did life become a bunch of stuff I don’t want to deal with? Why it this what life appears to me as? Why is this what life approaches me as?”

I often find myself stuck in a logistical nightmare of things I haven’t done and things I don’t know how to do? Lost, stuck, discouraged, confused.

When did life start appearing this way? Who said this is what life is? Was? Will Be?

Why are condemned to have our life approach us as this?

This man was blind. There was not sight, no clarity in him. And even on first anointing, even on the first incursion, invasion, of the Gospel of light, he only saw people as trees.

Is our darkness so stubborn that we need repeated invasions of the Gospel to begin to see? Is it true that Word of Light is not done undoing our blindness? That we must be anointed again and again by the hearing of the gospel for us to begin to see?

And what is life when we have just heard the Gospel? When we have heard the Gospel, we see the Christ of the Gospel. When we hear the Gospel, we see, more and more clearly, the Christ Who has proclaimed the Gospel to us.

Today, running across a commentary on a different passage, I ran across these words, “The current interest in the modern West in a divine inner light within each individual….seems patently discrepant from Jesus’ teaching. Jesus does not identify the source of divine light within the native human heart but in the kingdom of God that he himself inaugurates. Without that source of light the human heart, even if “swept clean and put in order,” will not grow increasingly luminous but will succumb to an infinitely worse condition.”

When will life be Someone I’m With? When will Life be the One Who Died and Rose Again? When will life be the One Who Will Return in Glory?

Only as I am spoken to. Life will only appear as it is as I am spoken to by its Author and Redeemer, who is Himself Life Itself, and who, by speaking, can make it so I can see Him clearly.

“The veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.”

“The veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.”

Perhaps what we see here is that Jesus is the only way we will see Jesus. He’s is not just what we see, but the only way we’ll see it.

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