Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:25

Some translations say Jesus touched his eyes a “second time.”

A letter has been described as “a visit from a friend who was away.” I love to get personal emails from friends and I will often read them several times. The first time I quickly read it through to find out what has been happening and the second time I try to sense how they’re feeling. I wonder if we ever read the Bible like that?

The Bible is often described as a guide book on life or an instruction manual on living. While it’s these things the Bible is also a love letter from the Father. While we’re reading he wants to visit us with his Presence.

It’s important to study the Bible and learn about God’s action and responses. But it’s also important to read the Bible a “second time” to sense our Father’s heart. To hear him say, “since you are precious,” “because I love you,” “I will not forget you,” “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 43:4; 49:15-16).

Sometimes it helps to read the Bible in a different translation to our favourite, perhaps this is where a paraphrase is most helpful, and in this way read it a “second time.”

Reading the Bible should be so much more than an academic exercise. It should be a time of drawing close to God and have him draw near to us.