Why Saliva and Dirt? (John 9 – Reversing Tragedy- Part 2)

Why Saliva and Dirt? (John 9 - Reversing Tragedy- Part 2)

After He (Jesus) 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 9:6-7

Jesus put spit and dirt in the blind man’s eyes! We know that Jesus healed others with just a word or a touch. In fact, Jesus healed some, like the Roman centurion’s servant, who’s physical location was many miles away (Luke 7:1-10). Why use mud?

How would you respond if a doctor tried that cure on you? Since saliva was considered medicinal in Jesus’ day, maybe saliva was used as a source of encouragement.  Most likely the saliva was simply to make the dirt adhere to the man’s eyes. Still . . . How do we explain the use of dirt?

Dirt in the eye is irritating! A minute particle of dust or a tiny eyelash can cause great discomfort in the eye. I suspect the irritating discomfort added to the blind man’s motivation to get to the pool to wash his eyes. Later, when asked how his eyes were opened the blind man responded, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight.” – John 9:11

All he knew was that a man called Jesus put mud in his eyes and commanded him to go and wash in the pool. Whatever faith the blind man had, was aided by the need for relief.

Who would have ever thought of mud in someone’s eye as a beautiful picture of grace?

We should be grateful for the irritations that Jesus allows in our lives that push us toward faith. Thank the Lord for blessed relief that is only found in Him and washing in the water of His Word.

Did the blind man have any faith? We are not told. What we do know is the rest of the story which shows how what little faith he had, gradually blossomed into complete surrender and worship. More on that in part three of this amazing story.

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