The purpose of this study is to investigate Mark’s detailing of the two different means of healing employed by Jesus in his interaction with the blind man of Bethsaida (Mark 8:22–26). The use of spit in the first attempt can be located within the context of Greco-Roman practices of magic, while the uniqueness of Jesus’ second attempt by touch alone is a method that lacks clear pre-Christian parallels. Although scholars commonly recognize Mark’s intentional juxtaposition of the physically blind man in 8:22–26 with the spiritually blind disciples in 8:27–33, they lack consensus regarding the particular points of comparison. This article argues that Mark’s attention to the means of healing in the first pericope suggests a continued focus on the means by which the followers of Jesus gain full understanding of his Messianic identity, and it sees that both passages culminate in the principle expressed in 8:33.

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