John 9:1-12-It is the Sabbath, and as Jesus is walking along, He sees a man who had been blind from birth. He heals him by making mud from His own spit and dirt, placing it on his eyes…then telling him to wash it off in the pool of Siloam.
For an interesting explanation of why Jesus used spit in the process of healing this man, see:
The disciples asked Jesus whose sin was responsible for his blindness, his parents, or his. Sickness and suffering were commonly believed to be the results of an individual’s involvement in sin. However, this created a problem when someone was born with a physical illness, such as blindness. Jesus said neither his parents, nor he was responsible…but, that this blindness was in order that God could be glorified through him. Is it not wonderful that Jesus is more interested in a person’s future, than his past…the cleansing of our sin, rather than the cause of our sin? And is it not also wonderful that God would use the occasion of our forgiveness as an opportunity to bring Himself glory!
Jesus tells the disciples that the time that He had to do the works of God was passing quickly…so, He must take advantage of every situation to do that which would validate Who He was. A day was coming when people would not be responsive to what He had to say…the ”night” (:4). It was only as long as He was with them, that He would be able to give them light, understanding that will lead them to faith in Him.
The people who had known the man when he was blind were uncertain that he was even the same man…“who previously saw him as a beggar” (:8). But, he kept telling them that he was the one. They would not believe that such a change, a miracle had happened. Just the same way many people today are unwilling to accept that someone has truly been changed. He kept telling them that it was him, and that Jesus was the one Who had healed him. But when they asked where Jesus was, he did not know.
The man was brought before the Pharisees and they were divided over the issue of the healing…some saying that the miracle could not be of God because it was done on the Sabbath, but the others saying that if Jesus was a sinner (for breaking the Sabbath), then how did He perform the miracle? When they questioned the blind man he said that Jesus was a prophet. The Pharisees refused to believe that he had been healed by Jesus so they sent for his parents. They identified the man as their son, but refused to take a stand on how he had been healed for fear of being thrown out of the synagogue. The Pharisees had already agreed that if anyone said that Jesus was the “Christ” (the Messiah), they would “be put out of the synagogue” (:22). This would be catastrophic for a person since the everyday life of a Jew revolved around the synagogue. Not only was it the center of local religious practice, it was also the hub of community and social life. To be excommunicated from worship and fellowship would be terrible and harsh.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to believe in the change that You make in people. Don’t let me continue to hold against them, what You have changed in them.