Mark 8:22-26 (another healing of a blind man story) always confused me as a teenager. We have seen Jesus heal people over and over - but we’ve never seen it not work the first time. What happened? Did Jesus lose control of his powers for a second?
I wasn’t until I thought about the story in context that it made sense to me. This whole chapter is about the disciples just not getting it. First, they think Jesus is mad at them for not bringing enough bread (after just seeing Him miraculously feed two multitudes), and then Peter realizes He is the messiah… and then promptly tells Jesus that He is being the messiah all wrong.
The blind man is used as a metaphor for Jesus struggling to open His disciples’ eyes. You can almost imagine Jesus looking right at Peter as the blind man slowly and awkwardly begins to see; “You see this Peter! This is what you are like EVERY SINGLE DAY!”
But Jesus kept trying. He wasn’t content to let the blind man walk away seeing a fuzzy image, and He wasn’t content to let His disciples continue to be ignorant. He kept healing. He kept teaching. Eventually, eyes were opened - in more ways than one.
Jesus still takes that same approach with us. He doesn’t toss us away after the first mistake, or the fifth, or the five hundredth. He patiently teaches us lessons again and again, waiting as long as it takes. And He urges us to follow that same example with people in our lives - students, teachers, siblings, parents. We should give as many chances as we get.