Jesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More heals a blind man, but it takes two attempts for the miracle to have its full effect. This story initiates the second of the Gospel of Mark’s three major sections.
The healing of the blind man at Bethsaida is the first of only two healings of blindness in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus’ first attempt at healing fails, and it takes a second touch after the man says, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking” (8:24). Perhaps the incomplete effect of Jesus’ first attempt explains why this is one of the few stories in Mark that does not appear in either A tax collector who became one of Jesus' 12 disciples More or The "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More. When the story concludes, the man “saw everything clearly” (8:25), meaning that at last he could see from afar. Jesus is the only one who is able to heal sight in such a way that we too might “see from afar” the way of the cross and resurrection, which is the central focus of Mark’s second major section.