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First Lesson (Mark 8: 22- 9: 50)

The two-stage healing of the blind man from Bethsaida serves both as the conclusion to the journeys back and forth across the sea in chapters 4–8 and as the introduction to the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem in chapters 8–10. Physical sight has long been employed as a metaphor for insight. As a conclusion, this two-stage healing suggests that the good news about God’s realm is available to both Jews and Gentiles. For a listening audience, knowing only what has come before, this two-stage healing would make a striking conclusion to the “detour” section of the journeys around the sea. As an introduction, the same story anticipates two related stages of Jesus’ ministry: powerful words and deeds for the powerless and willingness to risk persecution at the hands of the powerful who are inevitably challenged by such service…

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