Bethsaida. Notice the meaning of its name; "House of fish, House of fruit, House of hunting, House of snares and House of provision. As to the past it was privileged. Many mighty works of Christ had heen accomplished there. As to the present it was proud. They repented not. As to the future, it will be punished. It will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for them. Notice two things about Bethsaida in this passage. They never saw the miracle that the Lord had wrought and they never heard the testimony of the man that was healed. We have read about a place, Bethsaida. We have read about people, how many we do not know, but we know that four men brought the man taken with palsy to the Lord Jesus and that they had love for the man they had brought. They had faith, they had confidence and they had trust in the person to whom they brought the man, the Lord Jesus. They were rewarded for their love and for their faith.
We have read about a man with blind vision, a man with blurred vision, and then a man with bright vision. Last but not least we have read about The Man. We see him leading as He takes the man by the hand and leads him out of the city. Then we see him touching. Twice He touches the mans eyes. We see him commanding and we see him teaching. The Lords actions here are most significant. Having abandoned Bethsaida for judgment, He would neither heal in that town nor allow testimony to be borne there. Our greatest blessings can only come to us when we are alone with God. The Lord always does far more than we ask him to do. Not only did the Lord touch him but the Lord taught him. He is able to do exceedingly above all that we could ask or think.
Notice two things that mark the friends of this man. They brought him to the Lord Jesus and besought him that He might lay His hands upon him and touch him. Notice what marks the Lord Jesus. He guides the man, takes him by the hand and leads him out of the town. It is good when we know His guiding hand. "Guide us O thou great Jehovah, pilgrims through this barren land." And then we see the touch of Christ. Twice he touches the man and we see the affect of those touches. After the first touch, he sees men as trees walking. After the second touch he sees all men clearly. We dont believe in the second blessing but we do believe in the second touch. We see the Lord teaching the man. He sends him to his home and tells him not to go to the town nor to tell it to any in the town. The secrecy of Christ is seen in these verses.
We would like to notice three things about this man only recorded by Mark. (1) A MAN WITH A BLIND VISION. The first touch made him see things dimly. With the second touch he saw things clearly and brightly. This man was not born blind, he became blind. The word restore means to be restored to its former state. It is sadly possible to be blind and yet to be ignorant of it. The church at Laodecea did not know that they were wretched, miserable, poor and blind and naked.
The question well might be asked "what is that which causes blindness and what is the cure for blindness?" They were rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing. Peter reminds us that they who lack "these things" are blind and the "these things" are "faith, virtue, knowledge, patience, godliness, brotherly love and love." What is the cure? We preach to the sinner. Life is short, death is sure, sin the cause and Christ the cure. The cure is in the divine touch. There went with Saul a band of men whose hearts God had touched. The Lord touched Jeremiahs mouth. A touch set Daniel upon his knees and the palms of his hands. Then his lips were touched and he opened his mouth and spake. When we think of blindness, we think of the unsaved. We sing "I was a sinner but now I am free. His wondrous grace has rescued me. Once I was blind but now I see, a brand from the burning He rescued me." But remember Eli the priest was blind as was Samson the Nazarite. Zedekiah the king was blind and the Church at Laodecea was blind. The question is, what was the cause of their blindness for do remember there is a cause. When we think of Eli as a priest, he is sitting. He misunderstood Hannah the spiritual. He honored his sons more than he honored God and restrained them not and there we may see the reason for his blindness.
Zedekiah who was the last of the kings was marked by blindness. Why was he blind? He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. He humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of God. He also rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar who made him swear by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord, the God of Israel. Zedekiah lost his light and his life and his liberty. Then we see Samson. There are many commendable things concerning Samson. He was a man of faith. He is found in Heb. 11. He was a child that grew. The Lord blessed him, the Spirit of God moved him and the Lord was with him. But what marked the days of the Judges marked Samson, "there was no king in Israel and every one did that which was right in their own eyes." Laodicea was taken up with the material rather than the spiritual. They were rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing and knew not that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
A MAN WITH A BLURRED VISION. It is evident this man was not born blind. He had seen men before and he had seen trees before. Notice what is divine in this miracle. The Lord Jesus takes him by the hand and leads him out of the city, then he sent the man home. There we see the divine will, way and wisdom. Then seeing men as trees walking and seeing all men clearly we see the divine work. Here was a man who never saw men in their true perspective or their true proportion. Is it possible that our vision can be blurred in regards to men. The truth of the blurred vision can be seen in the Acts of the apostles. The multitude says, "The gods have come down in the likeness of men." They called Barnabas, Jupiter and Paul they called Mercury. They bring oxen and garlands and they are going to sacrifice to these men. Barnabas and Paul sprang in and tell the multitude that they are men of like nature as themselves and speak about the greatness of God.
When we come to Acts 28 we see the truth of the blurred vision. The Barbarians see a viper fastened on the arm of Paul and they say he is a murderer. But Paul shakes the viper off his hand into the fire. They thought that he should have swollen up and then fallen down dead but they changed their mind and said that he was a god. At first they thought too little of him and then they thought too much of him. Their vision was blurred. In Corinthians we again see the truth of the blurred vision. There were those who said Paul is our man, others said Apollos is our man, some said Cephas is our man and others said Christ is our man. And that produces a party spirit and brings contention and division to the assembly. The great error of Corinth was that they thought that they belonged to Paul and Apollos and Cephas. Paul makes it very clear that they are not heads of parties. They are ministers through whom they believe. And Paul also makes it clear, "You saints dont belong to servants but remember servants do belong to saints. All things are yours. Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, all things are yours for ye belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God."
I believe on the mount of transfiguration we see a man with blurred vision. I am thinking of Peter. He is heavy with sleep and he speaks not knowing what he said. Let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and one for Elijah. He puts Moses and Elijah on the same platform as Christ. A MAN WITH A BRIGHT VISION. He which hath began a good work in us will perform at the day of Christ. Christ has worked for us. His desire is to work in us. Then he will work through us.