I’ve had spit on the brain for the past several days. I shared with you all the reason why in my previous post, When Spit Hits the Ground. Ever since writing the title of that particular post, I keep thinking about the story in scripture of a blind man whose life changed forever after encountering Jesus. I’ve written about this story before but, in the past, I’ve focused more on the verses where his sight is restored and then the crazy interrogation he receives from the Pharisees. I’ve always loved the once blind man’s response to all the questions. “Whether or not he’s (Jesus) a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25)
“I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!”
I love those words. They’re honest. Sometimes, we have no idea how Jesus was able to come into our situations and heal, transform, make new, or redeem…but the proof is in the pudding. And, that encounter, that one thing, has the capacity to capture our hearts forever.
But let’s back up to the part of the story in John that’s been on my heart ever since I heard the spit sermon at church.
“As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After He said these things He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.” John 9:1-7
After reading this, I did a little research on why Jesus might have spit before healing the man. I wondered this because we know that on many instances, Jesus simply used his words. (“Take up your mat and walk” John 5:8) Jesus didn’t “need” the mud or the spit in order to heal. I discovered that Scripture references three occasions where Jesus used spit prior to healing someone. Mark 7:33 and Mark 8:23 are the other instances. I also discovered that one of the plausible reasons why Jesus did this is because during that time period and in that culture saliva was often seen as a valid treatment for blindness. “Since the people of that day had a high view of saliva’s healing properties, Jesus used spit to communicate His intention to heal. Those being healed would have naturally interpreted Jesus’ spitting as a sign that they would soon be cured. ” -GotQuestions.Org
“Jesus used spit to communicate His intention to heal.” I tend to agree with this explanation.
It makes sense to me. Jesus was, after all, always coming down to our level to illustrate a point and to communicate His message more clearly. Once he communicates His message it is then up to us to receive the message and listen to instruction. I wonder if this is why Jesus instructed the man to go away and wash in the pool before he was completely healed? A part of receiving healing is doing so with a heart open and willing to listen to instructions. It becomes our choice as to whether or not we listen to instruction. The blind man could have refused to go to the pool. He could have come to the conclusion that Jesus was a quack and just walked away. I have to wonder if anyone else had ever tried to use spit on this man before and it just didn’t work?
I like how John makes a point of telling us that the pool Jesus asked the man to wash in means “sent.” Sent is part of the man’s healing journey. This reminds me, again, how Jesus is our example to follow. Jesus was sent by Father to give us life, we have life through Him when “we” (the ones in need of healing) accept and receive His healing and are then sent by Jesus.
I’m not sure how to end this post other than to say I’m glad this encounter is included in the Bible. It reminds me that so much of receiving healing from Jesus requires us to have a heart willing to receive. It also reminds me that, sometimes, (most of time) we don’t have all the answers as to how it all happened. Like the once blind man, we can’t dot all the “i”s or cross all the “t”s but we do know ONE THING for certain, we were blind and now we see.