Nativity Fast (Advent): Don’t Go Back

Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” Mark 8:26

Today’s Gospel reading (Mark 8:22-26) does not identify who brought the blind man to our Lord when he entered Bethsadia. We do know that Jesus took him outside of town to enlighten and restore him. Perhaps they were loved ones who were genuinely concerned about him and wanted to see a miracle. They could have been mockers who wouldn’t have believed the miracle if it happened before their very eyes. Whatever the case may have been, “They” were not the type of people Jesus wanted to send this enlightened and restored man back to. If he were to return to town and tell the townspeople, the Lord’s message and miracle would have been distorted.

Healing of the Blind Man

There have been times where Jesus did miraculous things before groups of people and taught multitudes. The call to share the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20) is for all of us as we are able. However, we must also be watchful of who we share with (Matthew 7:6). Sometimes “They” are constant critics of Christianity and/or religion in general. Such people tend to belittle the faithful making light of and denouncing what God has revealed to our hearts. “They” could also be people who wish us well. But, would rather we return to their perspective and way of thinking. In either case (and those somewhere in between) “They” are a threat to our spiritual growth and should be approached with caution, if at all.

“They” could also be the habits and thoughts that we wallow in that lead us into spiritual blindness. Some of the food, music, television, and other things we enjoy damage our souls outright and we know better to indulge in them. Still others seem harmless and can be interpreted as useful to our well being. A “They” of this sort can come with other people, worse still, “They” can be deeply embedded in us and are not easily eradicated. Returning to them could lead to sin rotting us from the inside turning our enlightenment and restoration into an empty shell. Imagine the man formerly blind using his sight for all sorts of evil that he can see. Imagine ourselves using our faith as an excuse for sins.

Serving at St. John the Wonderworker (OCA) in Atlanta

With a consistent prayer rule and advice from a spiritual guide, we can avoid going back to the Bethsadias and “They” whom Jesus had to separate us from in order to heal us.

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