Does the passage in Mark 8:22-25 have anything to do, spiritually speaking, with Christ's second coming?

Seeing that the Lord did not have to "try twice" to heal anybody, It doesn't make any sense to heal twice. Plus the fact that trees are metaphorically used as people in Judges 9:8-15.

2 Answers 2


No, it has to do with the spiritual blindness of His disciples. We have to look at the context surrounding this miracle. Christ had just told His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (Mark 8:15), and the disciples immediately begin thinking He was speaking literally of bread and food. Christ became exasperated with them (vs. 17-21) and made a point about the pieces of bread left over from the feeding of the five thousand and four thousand.

The two-stage miracle recorded in Mark chap. 8 was a demonstration for His disciples who were being slow to see - understand. Christ had brought the man outside the village, away from the unbelievers in Bethsaida. The only ones witnessing this miracle were those believers who had brought their friend to Jesus, and His disciples. He was making a point to His disciples.

The key to this miracle is in vs. 18:

" Having eyes, do ye not see? and having ears, do ye not hear? and do ye not remember?" (YLT)

Excerpt from "The Healing of a Blind Man" by Kelly R. Iverson:

"As Mark’s story unfolds, the clarity of the divine plan develops. However, Mark reveals Jesus’ fate from the early stages of the narrative (Mark 2:20, Mark 3:6, Mark 3:19). The irony is that while the audience becomes aware that Jesus must die, the disciples remain confused or at times directly opposed to the notion of a crucified Messiah.

The tension between Jesus’ teaching and the disciples’ misunderstanding is an undercurrent of the narrative that is never resolved. To emphasize the disciples’ lack of understanding, Mark uses a number of techniques to expose their inadequacies. For example, Mark sometimes employs a character’s physical condition (such as imperfect sight or hearing) to symbolize a broader theological concept. In particular, during Mark’s “way section,” blindness functions as a metaphor for the disciples’ lack of understanding. This relationship is made explicit by Jesus’ own words in the scene immediately before the two-stage healing: “do you still not perceive or understand?…Do you have eyes, and fail to see?” (Mark 8:17-18).

In view of these connections, many scholars argue that the two-stage healing provides implicit commentary on the disciples’ spiritual blindness. Their confusion about the mission and identity of Jesus, as well as their own role within the kingdom, indicates that, like the blind man, their vision is still partial. Though called to be with Jesus (Mark 3:14) and invested with the mysteries of the kingdom (Mark 4:11-12), the disciples are in need of a second touch." Source: BibleOdyssey

The disciples had a hard time understanding the spiritual things of salvation and the kingdom. They were learning they had to get past the carnal nature of man to see the spiritual bread of life that is Christ (John 6:48).

  • yes. While the two stage healing does indeed have a compelling spiritual application when context is considered, it's my understanding that current medical knowledge recognizes the need to address some kinds of blindness both by restoring the eyes and restoring the brain's interpretation of the visual signals that it receives. Other interesting questions include why Jesus spat on the man's eyes and why Jesus instructed the man not to enter his village.
    – Dieter
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 21:03
  • I too am curious about the spitting. Christ could have healed the blind man with just a word, so why the spitting? But, re: the instruction not to return to the village - one commentary centered around the unbelief of those in Bethsaida (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13), and another brought up the human gossip factor. Tell someone to keep a secret and it spreads like wildfire. Not sure that was Christ's intent, but it seems worth considering.
    – Gina
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 0:47
  • I don't believe that Jesus spat onto the man's eyes for medicinal or superstitious purposes. According to several passages in the Tanakh, spitting was a sign of contempt (for example, consider of God's reaction against Miriam regarding Moses' wife). I'd suggest that Jesus loved the man, but showed his contempt for this man's condition, specifically his eyes. I also believe that Jesus meant what he told the man, knowing that the villagers would scoff at the man's story and perhaps persecute him, bringing condemnation on themselves.
    – Dieter
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 2:13
  • 1
    One time he spat on the ground and formed mud and rubbed a man's eyes to heal his blindness. I believe that had to do with creation, when the midst watered the ground and man was formed from the dust. Christ was showing his divinity by healing man through the dust.
    – diego b
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 18:52
  • Concerning the Spitting It was a tradition of the rabbis that even the spit of the Messiah would work miracles! Jesus seems to have accommodated their tradition. (See Rabbinical Literature of first century)
    – ray grant
    Commented May 20 at 19:50

No, the lesson in the passage has to do with the need for faith by those seeking help from the Lord.

The text here is:

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.

Elsewhere in the Gospels we see that the faith of the person being healed by Jesus plays a role in his or her healing: e.g. the case of the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48); the healing of the one of the ten lepers (Luke 17:19). On each of these occasions, after the person is healed, Jesus uses the same words: your faith has healed you (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέ σε).

We might conclude, then, that the reason the man was not immediately healed was that his faith was initially weak. Perhaps the fact that the man was brought from Bethsaida is also significant, since Jesus elsewhere in the Gospels condemns the city for its unbelief (Matthew 11:21-22). Many commentators in antiquity also saw symbolism in Jesus' physical action - a sort of lesson that action and word must work together.

The Byzantine commentator Theophylact (1055-1107) summarizes the patristic interpretation of the passage:

The Lord comes to Bethsaida, and the people bring a blind man unto Him. But the faith of those who bring the blind man was not genuine, which is why the Lord leads him out of the village and then heals him ... The blind man himself did not have perfect faith, which is why the Lord does not at once make him to see clearly, but only in part, as his faith was only in part. For healing occurs according to one's faith.

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