|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:22-26 Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends. Therein appeared the faith of those that brought him. If those who are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their friends and relations should pray for them, that Christ would be pleased to touch them. The cure was wrought gradually, which was not usual in our Lord's miracles. Christ showed in what method those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are spiritually blind. At first, their knowledge is confused; but, like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the perfect day, and then they see all things clearly. Slighting Christ's favours is forfeiting them; and he will make those who do so know the worth of privileges by the want of them.
Verse 24. - And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. He looked ups natural action. He instinctively looked in the direction of the source of light. The words in the Greek of the next clause are as follows: - βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας: I see men; for I behold them as trees, walking; that is, "I see something confusedly and obscurely, not clearly; for I see what I think must be men, and yet so dimly that they look to me like trees, only that I know that men move from their places, whereas trees do not." The word "walking" refers to the men, and not to the trees, as is evident from the Greek. This man, as yet partially blind, saw men as in shadow, magnified by the mist, looking much larger than they really were.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he looked up,.... This is omitted in the Arabic and Persic versions. The sense is, that he opened his eyelids, and lifted up his eyes, to try if he could see, and he could, and did see again; his sight was returned again, though very imperfectly as yet:
and said, I see men, as trees, walking: he saw some objects at a little distance from him, which, by their motion, he supposed to be men; otherwise his sight was so imperfect, that he could not have distinguished them from trees: he was capable of discerning the bulk of their bodies, and that they walked, or moved forward; but he could not distinguish the particular parts of their bodies; they seemed to be like trunks of trees, in an erect posture, and which he should have took for such, had it not been for their walking. As this man immediately, upon Christ's putting spittle on his eyes, and laying his hands on him, had sight given him, though it was very obscure and glimmering; so, as soon as ever the Gospel comes with power, it dispels the darkness of the mind, and introduces light; though at first it is but very small; it is let in gradually: the sinner is first convinced of the evil of his actions, and then of the sinfulness of his nature; he first sees the ability and suitableness of Christ as a Saviour, and after that his willingness, and his interest in him as such; and all this is commonly before he is so well acquainted with the dignity and infiniteness of his person, as the Son of God: and it is some time before he has his spiritual senses exercised to discern between good and evil, between truth and error; or arrives to a clear and distinct knowledge of Gospel truths, and a stability in them. Hence it is, that such are greatly harassed with Satan's temptations; are disquieted in their souls; are filled with doubts and fears, and are in danger of being imposed upon by false teachers.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking—This is one of the cases in which one edition of what is called the received text differs from another. That which is decidedly the best supported, and has also internal evidence on its side is this: "I see men; for I see [them] as trees walking"—that is, he could distinguish them from trees only by their motion; a minute mark of truth in the narrative, as Alford observes, describing how human objects had appeared to him during that gradual failing of sight which had ended in blindness.
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