When I taught in India a few years ago, I was a bit shocked to see women spitting in public! But Jesus was intentional. And the man born blind must have been a bit surprised to hear the sound of Jesus spitting on the ground.
The Lord then mixed His spittle with the dirt on the ground, making some mud. He put it on the man’s eyes. Why would He do such a thing? Some commentators suggest that, in that day, such a mud compact was thought to be helpful. I believe Jesus did this so that when the man “came home seeing” people would easily connect his healing with this action by Jesus.
Jesus tells the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. Why does John tell the reader that this word means “Sent”? Well, the man has been sent, hasn’t he? “Sent” implies a mission — and this mission, as difficult as it must have been for the man born blind to complete it, would change his life!
Could not the Lord of Glory, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, simply have spoken the man’s vision into being? Could He not have simply touched the man’s eyes and said something like “Be opened!”? Of course, He could have. But the man is given a simple command — and he obeys. There is something quite attractive in such simple obedience. “The man went and washed, and came home seeing.”
The Bible’s succinctness in telling this story cries out for elaboration. And I have heard that cry! I’ve written out a fictional account of this miracle, trying to fill in the details. If you are interested in my re-telling of this story, please drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or state your interest in the comment section below.
The question for us today is simple: What command has Jesus given you that you simply need to OBEY? (to be continued)