In this our final look at the John 9 narrative, we see Jesus using a secondary medium to facilitate the blind man’s healing. Instead of simply speaking a word, or just touching the man’s eye so he could see, Jesus “spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent)” (vv. 6-7a, NKJV). Why did Jesus do it this way? In the silence of the Scriptures, we are left to speculate. It could be that having adapted to this life-long condition, the man had no expectation of healing. Blindness was his norm; he knew nothing else. In other instances of healing, Jesus was working with the faith of the person who needed healing; however, in this case, there was no faith.
Jesus’ instructions put the man to the test. Would he believe the words of Jesus? Would he be cynical and not bother because his was not an instant miracle? After all, Jesus did something to his eyes and he still could not see. What he did not know was that if he did as Jesus said, that act of belief was the activating faith that would bring about his miracle. We do not know what he was thinking, how far he walked, or if someone guided him to the pool but according to the narrative, “he went and washed, and came back seeing” (v. 7b, NKJV).” Jesus needed for him to be an active participant in his healing. The miracle was not brought about by the spittle-laden clay on his eyes but rather by his faith in the words of Jesus to do exactly as He said. It is no wonder when the Pharisees questioned him, his testimony remained constant: “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight” (v.11). In other words, I did exactly what He said I should do and I was healed!
How about you? The only thing that stood between the blind man and his miracle was obedience born out of trust. He trusted what he was told by the One who could change his situation. A situation he had adapted to; one for which he was not believing for a miracle. If you have such a situation, know that you can trust the words of Jesus as recorded in the Scriptures. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew the power of doing what Jesus said when she told the servants standing over the empty waterpots at the wedding in Cana, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5). This man called Jesus – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and whatever He did back then, He is still able to do today. You can trust and do whatever He tells you to do and the results will follow. Just ask the blind man.