I too was newly struck by the passage you mention (Mark 8:22-26) the last time I studied it in the daily readings from the Gospel. What you call “magical” miracles—that is, miracles in which Christ, rather than simply healing someone by a word or by commending the person for his faith, makes use of some physical element—are all quite intriguing. In this case, of course, we have an example of such a miracle in which, even more intriguingly, Christ seems not to succeed the first time.

And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

Perhaps we’re meant to conclude that the blind man himself needed to be more deeply committed to the Truth before his healing could be fully effected; one notices that the first time he merely “looked up”, while the second time—in the translation you’re using—he “looked intently”. According to the Authorized (King James) Version, in the former case the man “looked up”, but in the second case Jesus “made him look up”. Either way there appear to be two distinct levels or degrees of intensity, and only after the second is realized does the miracle occur.

As for the admittedly puzzling fact that the man is instructed by Christ to go “to his house” but at the same told not to enter the town, here’s what St Jerome has to say:

“Note the text exactly. If we consider the literal interpretation only, it does not make any sense. If this bind man is found in Bethsaida and is taken out and cured, and he is then commanded: ‘Return to thine own house,’ certainly he is bid to ‘return to Bethsaida.’ If, however, he returns there, what is the meaning of the command: ‘Neither enter into the town’? You see, therefore, that the interpretation must be symbolic. He is led out from the house of the Jews, from the town, from the law, from the traditions of the Jews. He who could not be cured in the law is cured in the grace of the Gospel. It is said to him, ‘Return to thine own house’—not into the house that he considers his own, the one from which he came out, but into the house that was also the house of Abraham, since Abraham is the father of those who believe” (Homily 79).