Christ healing the Blind Man,
Painted by Andrei Mironov (born 1975),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 2009,
© Andrei Mironov Artist
Jesus laid his hands on the man’s eyes and he saw clearly
Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’
Reflection on the painting
Andrei Mironov's father was a Soviet militia officer in the old USSR. Andrei followed his father's footsteps and also entered the Soviet army, taking part in the First Chechen War. Being self-educated in painting, he developed his own, highly classical style of painting religious subjects such as the artwork we are looking at today. Light emanates from Christ and shines upon the blind man's face. Jesus is about to touch the blind man's eyes. The blind man's unusual facial expression reveals expectation mixed with slight nervousness for what is about to happen. Christ's right hand (with a gesture of 'giving') and the blind man's left hand (with a gesture of 'receiving') also tell a whole story. Not only are their eyes connected but the hands, too, show a bond.
It actually is the hand which is the focus of the start of our Gospel passage: 'He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village'…. This is a kind, gentle act of love which Jesus bestows upon the blind man before the miracle happens. Jesus did not have to do this: he could have healed the man, there and then, where he was. However, Jesus chose to spend some time alone with the man, privately. The healing was a private moment between the two of them, just as our faith is a very private, personal, intimate connection with Jesus. And the we move from the private to the public where we live out our faith. Some of the most beautiful and faith-growing moments in our lives are when we are completely alone with God… where he can spend time with us and cure us of our own blindness…
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