Mark 8:24

Robert Hawker

"And he looked up and said, I see men as trees, walking."–Mark viii. 24.

I have often considered the case of this man as holding forth a sweet and comfortable lesson of instruction, to the small attainments of the followers of Jesus. Perhaps our gracious Lord, in the method he was pleased to adopt, in the opening of this man's eyes by gradual means, intended so to instruct his people. My soul, look at it in this point of view; it may be profitable to thee. When the Son of God, who came to give light to the spiritually blind, as well as to restore vision to the eye of the body, first touched this poor man's eyes, the effect was that when he looked up, the men he saw were only like "trees, walking;" the sight was imperfect, and the objects obscure. And such is it very frequently in our apprehension of spiritual things; but then it should be remembered, and remembered with great thankfulness, that this imperfection of our sight differs altogether from total darkness. Objects we certainly see, though we do not clearly see them as we desire. If I see "men as trees, walking," it is past a doubt that men I see; and by a parity of reasoning, if, in a spiritual sense, I see Jesus in his suitableness, fulness, and all-sufficiency, for a poor sinner; though I long to see more of him, and to see him more plainly, yet the sight I now have is blessed, and being wrought by his own gracious hands, it begets a lively hope that he who hath begun the cure will perfect it. The way to ascertain the reality of spiritual life, is not unsimilar to what is done in doubtful cases in respect to animal life. It is a sure sign of life if the body feel, however the other symptoms of health may be suspended. There is a vast difference between deadness and death. If a man cannot speak, yet is he conscious of what others say? If he cannot make signs, yet can he take food? If he cannot take food, doth he move? If he doth not move, doth he breathe? Still then there is life. And, in like manner, the soul that is breathing after Jesus, though he doth not move, hath life. He is looking up, like this poor creature, and all he seeth is imperfect. But Jesus will do by him as by this blind man; he will put his hand upon him again, and at length he will make him to behold every object clearly. Lord, give me grace to bless thee for all attainments, and never "to despise the day of small things!"