Sensation and Perception

On Sunday I preached from Mark 8:22-26. The text tells the story of the healing of the blind man. Jesus heals the man in two stages. In the first stage, Jesus gives the man the ability to see, but he couldn’t see clearly. In the second stage, Jesus gives the man the ability to see clearly. It has caused many people confusion. Why did Jesus need two attempts to heal the man? Why didn’t Jesus heal the man fully?

My take on it is that Jesus performed two miracles. In the first miracle, Jesus gave the man sensation (i.e. the ability to sense light with his eyes). In the second miracle, Jesus gave the man perception (i.e. the ability to discern the meaning of the light impulses that he received in his eyes).

I believe that Jesus did this as an illustration of the disciples. They saw the miracles of Jesus, but they weren’t able to perceive what it meant. That is, they could see, but they didn’t see. Furthermore, when Peter professed Jesus to be the Christ (in the next section in Mark’s gospel), he could see. But, when Jesus made known his plan to suffer and die, Peter rebuked Jesus, thereby showing that he didn’t perceive what this meant.

This article was a great help to me. You can hear my sermon here. You can read my notes here.

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