Most of the blind were healed immediately as mentioned in Matthew 9:27-31 and Luke 18:35-43. One touch of the Master’s hand and the blind could see. But there were two particular healings that were not immediate.
One is in John 9:10-11. In this particular incident, Jesus made a clay, anointed the man’s eyes, and then told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash.
The other is in Mark 8:22-26. Here, the man saw shapes and shadows after Jesus’s initial touch. Only after Jesus touched him a second time did everything become clear.
Why? Why make the man go to the pool of Siloam to wash and why did it take two tries to get it right for the second man? Did Jesus make a mistake the first time?
No, Jesus does not make mistakes, and it does little good to ask why questions as those questions will most likely not be answered this side of heaven and perhaps won’t matter on the other side. The more appropriate question is, “What do I do with this information?”
For me, I see three takeaways. First every healing, in every encounter with Jesus, those who have come have come with faith. All came because they believed Jesus could heal and meet their needs. Most that we read about received their answers immediately.
But these two didn’t. Yet they still believed. The first had to make his way, still blind, to the pool and rinse his eyes. We are not told how long it took him to get there, only that he did. And once he did, his sight was restored.
Sometimes before God answers our request, He will ask us to do something. Not because our actions are necessary to the outcome, but our obedience demonstrates our faith, which in turn reveals our relationship with God. How long between our request and our “pool at Siloam”?
The second man’s healing came in parts. Sometimes the answers to our prayers come in bits and pieces as well, not because Jesus makes mistakes, but perhaps because he wants to have a conversation with us as he did this man, “Do you see anything?” To which the man replied, “I see men as trees walking.” And then comes the next touch.
God hears all our prayers and knows all of our needs. He also knows what we need between the request and the answer. That answer could be immediate or take time. Answered this side of heaven or the other . . . but always answered.