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The Blind Man of Bethsaida.

The Blind Man of Bethsaida.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,


Mark viii, 22 — 26.

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 aught. 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. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the
town, nor tell it to any in the town.
BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,


Mark viii, 22 — 26.

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 aught. 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. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the
town, nor tell it to any in the town.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 03, 2014
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THE BLID MA OF BETHSAIDA. BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A., Mark viii, 22 — 26. 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 aught. 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. And he sent him away to his house, saying, either go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town. In God's word, blessings and warnings are constantly- blended together. We sometimes observe the same thing in the actions of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no truth we lose sight of more than this, that every ray of life and light and healing from above entails a proportionate mea- sure of responsibility. Grace is sensitive, and if slighted will retire. Familiarity with truth brings with it a con- science less impressible to its voice. A step farther it is seared. It is a solemn consideration. There is a day at hand when thousands who now pass among men for Chris- tians will wish they had never heard of Christianity. There is an hour approaching when thousands of professedly reli- gious men would give worlds that they never had had any religion at all. 126 COUSELS FKOM THE WOEDS OF THUTH. Let us look, in dependence upon the teaching of God's Holy Spirit, on the solemn lessons connected with the healing of the blind man of Bethsaida.
 
The Lord Jesus, while performing this miracle, was con- veying another lesson. While blessing the blind man with restoration of sight, it was done in such a way as to convey a solemn warning. Bethsaida had been a highly favored place. Many of the Lord's mighty works had been done there. The grace and love of the Redeemer had shone forth there in a wondrous manner. Its privileges had been many and great. But Bethsaida had slighted them. It had not repented. But though grace had been resisted, and the nation still remained impenitent, the Lord does not cast it off. He visits it again. His arms of mercy are again extended to succor the needy. He heals, but in such a manner that they may see how sensitive grace is, and easily grieved by resistance. He heals, but with the manner and words of a wounded heart, and an indication that now their day of grace was over, and His Spirit was about to be withdrawn. "And He took the blind man by the hand." Though grieved and slighted, that hand was ever ready to be ex- tended at the cry of mercy. one ever came in vain. Hi- ear was ever open, His grace ever full and free. The more needy, the more welcome. He would "in no wise cast out." But mark the significant action, "He led him out of the town." Bathsaida had forfeited, by slighting His grace, all claim to see the works of the Lord Jesus. His with- drawal had a significant meaning. It spoke of a distance which the Lord had now taken with regard to it. It con- veyed to Bethsaida exactly what familiarity with truth conveys to us, a withdrawal of the Spirit's operations; a THE BLID MA OF BETHSAIDA. 127 conscience less sensitive and tender; a heartless moved than formerly by the voice of God. • Beader, and especially Christian reader, this is a solemn
 
thing. Oh, if there is one prayer more than another you should ever have on your heart, it is this, that you may be preserved from barren familiarity with truth. " Oh," said one, "there was nothing new in what he said; it was just what we all knew before." Here is the terrible effect of familiarity with truth. It becomes inoperative. And how inoperative ? That very familiarity was the withdrawal of the Spirit's operation. He cannot work, for the heart and conscience are untouched. Blessed be God, He never with- draws from the soul in whom He has taken up His abode. Bat He may be grieved, and withdraw His operations, leaving that soul to be a saved, yet so as by fire." Observe how the Lord confirms this by His conduct. " And when He had spit on his eyes, and put His hands upon him, He asked him if he saw aught." How strangely different is this from the Lord's usual manner of healing ! He seemed to doubt His own power ! What a process, and what a question to put to the man ! Why was all this? Slighted grace is sensitive. The Lord doubted not His power. But while the grace should flow from Him as fully as ever, it should flow as from a wounded spirit. It all spoke to Bethsaida of a withdrawal of grace, and that judg- ment was at hand. The stream of mercy was flowing to the needy, but with reserve and difficulty. This action is perfect wisdom, and loses nothing of love. If grace has been slighted, it is only right that if mani- fested again it should be accompanied with some course of conduct to show it is- grieved. " And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees walk- 128 COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH. ing." "What a strange effect of the putting forth of the Lord's power ! His work only half done ! "With what difficulty the healing seemed to come ! It was as if in a

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