Cataracts, Lasers and Divine Spittle
You'll find several links in this hub. The Scripture references will take you directly to the ESV website where you can read the entire passage in its proper context. That's an important feature of proper biblical interpretation. The other links will take you to hubs on related topics.
"Your cataracts have matured." That's what I heard Dr "Robbie", my good friend and optometrist, said. Just what I always wanted: mature cataracts! So about a year ago I was relieved of my mature cataracts. It was something of an ordeal: one eye at a time, and all those drops! But the promise of clear sight made it all worthwhile. Except that within a few months my sight began to deteriorate again. For the past month I've been reading SKU numbers at work with a magnifying glass (kinda slows you down) and seeing fuzzy images at a distance. Anything past 15 to 20 feet away was a blur. I saw general contours but not specific features.
Of course I went back to my friend, Dr.Robbie, to see if something else might have "matured." He explained what was happening in fancy med talk. Here's my take in crane-speak. The clear sacks that held the artificial lenses that had replaced my mature cataract infested natural lenses had now become cloudy. Not to worry! What I needed now was a laser treatment. So the plan was to shoot my eyeballs with a laser. Simple painless procedure. Sure!
Now I trust Dr.Robbie. So a few days ago I got lasered by the ophthalmologist he suggested. When I showed up, I was greeted by a team of cheerful nurses with all the usual preliminary procedures: temp, blood pressure, eye drops to numb and dilate. When I got an X drawn on my right temple, I began to worry. The guy with the laser gun didn't know his left from his right. "Medicare requires it," I was told. That calmed my nerves. The government is in charge!?
It ended well. By the time my right pupil was back to it's normal size, I could see perfectly. Well, almost. When my left eye is lasered I'll see you perfectly, perhaps even right through you. Well, that would be like not seeing you at all, so maybe not.
No laser gun? Just spit.
There's a fascinating incident in the life of Jesus recorded in Mark 8:22-26. Some folks brought Jesus a blind man. They asked the Savior to touch him. With good reason they expected that a mere touch from the Son of God would give instant sight. If God, he's omnipotent. If omnipotent, he can do it instantly. Besides, many had just been healed by a mere touch of his garments. (Mark 6:53-56)
Not this time. Jesus took the man by the hand, led him out of the village. Must have been something of a walk. Wonder what they talked about. When they got away from the crowd Jesus got a little weird. At least the blind man must have thought so when he felt spittle dripping down his eyelids into his eyes. Jesus had spit in his eyes. He then touched him and asked, "Can you see anything?" The startled man looked up and exclaimed, "I see people, but they look like trees walking." I can relate to that now.
Jesus then touched the man again. His sight was completely restored. He could see everything clearly. Didn't even have floaters.
Our "bigger, stronger, faster" culture equates omnipotence with instantaneous outcomes. Of course if you have an omnipotent agent, time is of no consequence. But God is not only omnipotent. He is also wise and loving and patient. His glory is revealed as much by slow development and the use of tools as it is by sudden results.
A dramatic instantaneous miracle will evoke a "wow" from us. A slow methodical use of means invites us to participate with God in bringing about good stuff. While God doesn't mind giving us a light show once in a while; He's all about getting close to us and allowing us to walk with Him.
When Jesus was finished with the blind man, the latter not only had his sight; he'd found a friend.
Omnipotence delays so you can catch up.