It’s Not the Method

Having said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,”  He told him,  “wash in the Pool of Siloam”  (this word means Sent).  So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.  John 9:6, 7.

I heard a pastor once almost sheepishly admit that he and a couple elders had tried putting mud on someone’s eyes in order to heal them.  It didn’t work, even though they were in Israel at the time as well as near the reputed Pool of Siloam.  They tried it different ways, combining it with prayer and fasting and generally experimenting with the Jesus’ method.  Every time it failed to produce.  His conclusion (and mine as well) is that it wasn’t the method, instead it somehow spoke to those present as a metaphor of God’s power.

In other words the method itself held no power whatsoever only Jesus word.  The man born blind needed something to do, an action to show his faith.  It could be that Jesus used the dust as a sign of the man’s condition in Israel and the healing became a rebuke of the common misconception about disease and congenital problems being the direct result of sin rather than merely a byproduct.  Although I wouldn’t put it past our Master’s sense of humor, I don’t think Jesus was necessarily being funny at this point.  I do, however, believe the mud mixed with His saliva has symbolism for us if we want to take it that way.

“Dust you are, and to the dust you will return” is what God told man after he sinned.  God used the dust from the ground to make humans; Jesus used the dust from which the man born blind was made to restore his sight, thus bringing the story of wholeness full circle.

As you probably know by now, I don’t believe these things are done by accident.  Even the name “Siloam” (meaning Sent) is by no means a coincidence.  The name given this particular pool probably happened many years before in order that God might use it in this man’s healing.  John records it so it must be significant to his mind as well.  He must have felt God purposed this pool for Jesus to work this miracle, giving Him a road sign with the name “Sent” on it to show Him the way.  The man needed a reason to wash in the pool so Jesus created mud from His own body, His saliva, which He smeared on the man’s dead eyes as a sign nothing could be outside God’s ability to reach except a heart hardened to His presence.

Without heavy theatrics or magical incantations an impossibility was overcome.  Jesus almost casually healed a man without any pronouncements or flair.  The only thing we could even get a dramatic feel for is the mud on the eyes, but I think this was to show those who would question the man afterward that Jesus’ power was absolute and beyond question (recall the public arguments of chapters past).  Jesus didn’t need special oils or formulaic words to make things happen—in point of fact, He used words simply for those within earshot to understand who it was doing the miracle.  I wouldn’t put it past Him to almost be amused by the use of mud as a means of healing, and it wouldn’t surprise me that He gave the Father an inner wink while He made the mud itself.

Jesus is the light of the world while He is in the world—whether bodily or through His disciples it makes no difference.  As long as He is in those who believe on His name, the world will have light.

Methodology holds no meaning for God except where He establishes a ritual for the purpose of we forgetful humans remembering a spiritual truth.  Rituals are reminders of greater things nothing more.  There is no salvation in these things in and of themselves; it’s what they point to that brings light and life to all who follow after God.

And for those who questioned Jesus’ power or connection to the Father, here was irrefutable evidence of a man born blind, condemned in person and family as a great sinner by the religiosity of the day and considered beyond help or the notice of God, made whole.

It didn’t, of course, shut His detractors up, but it did send a message to those who were looking for God:  Here is your messiah!  Pay attention!

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One Response to “It’s Not the Method”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Maybe the analogy could be the dust of man and the word of God brings sight to the blind. We’ll never know why Jesus chose the method he did but one thing is for sure, he made an impact and we are forever grateful.

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