6 Having said this, he spit(H) on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”(I) (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.(J)
I’m kind of laughing to myself as I consider the scene. Did Jesus give the man any idea that He was about to apply a spit mask-of-sorts to his eyes? Holy cow, what a crazy day for the guy.
We don’t see any indication that the man did anything to flag Jesus down and ask to be healed. Seems that, after slipping away and avoiding a stoning for saying He’s God, Jesus saw the man “as He went along.”
Jesus saw him. Jesus noticed. Even after years of the man being blind. And He initiated toward Him.
Jesus saw him even when he couldn’t see Jesus.
Wow, that comforts my heart. To be seen. Like water to dry earth.
I’m just trying to picture it. The guy — what’s his name? shall we call him Esau? — is sitting in the same stead he did daily, begging, as it was the only means of securing food. Maybe an old widow comes by daily for a short visit, having known him since he was a boy. She shares from her own small food supply for the day, and prays for him.
Maybe he’s prayed for sight. Maybe he’d prayed for years and had stopped when nothing changed.
But today, Jesus sees him and moves toward him. In a wordless dialogue or in conversation not captured by John, the two lives intersect.
Why mud? Why spitting in dirt and making a paste? Seems crude and unnecessary, right?
Maybe. But isn’t it reminiscent of creation? Of breathing life into dirt and creating Adam?
And, perhaps more importantly, it provides an opportunity for Esau to respond in faith. Jesus puts mud on his eyes and tells him to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash.
He could have said, “This is crazy! I’m not about to go wash in some body of water. First of all, I can’t even see to get to it. Secondly, this is crazy. Nothing will be different.” (Read this short story of another healing that has parallels to this one–especially about the command to go and wash and Naaman’s response.)
Or he could have gone and washed.
And come home seeing, like Esau did.
He left home blind that morning. But came home seeing.
Because Jesus saw him. Jesus initiated toward him. He responded in faith and was healed.
Here’s to moving forward in faith this Monday morning, even if what God asks us to do seems…strange, scary, unexpected, etc.
He’s so trustworthy and He sees us!