When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Remember that this man was born without sight. He had never seen anything at all. I have often wondered about how he must have felt when Jesus touched his eyes. Was he excited? Confused? Maybe a little afraid?
And why did Jesus choose to do it the way He did? Our modern sensitivities, especially during a pandemic, are repulsed by the idea of someone using spit as a method of healing!
Times have changed. Saliva has not always been considered a dangerous or contaminated substance. In fact, using saliva as a medicine for the eyes was not uncommon at all. The saliva of some important person, such as a king, was believed to have curative qualities–especially if it were fasting saliva. Think for a moment: If you cut or otherwise injure your finger, what’s the first thing you do? You put it in your mouth!
Jesus was following a custom that was familiar to observers, and there was nothing strange or repulsive to them about His actions. He used the dust of the ground, the same substance from which He created Adam; He mixed it with His own saliva so it would stay where it was needed.
As His fingers touched the man’s eyes, I wonder what the blind man felt? Warmth? A sense of life? Maybe nothing more than the damp earth. In any case, when Jesus finished applying the mud, He told the man to go to the Pool of Siloam to wash his eyes. Siloam means Sent, we are told. So of course I wondered why Jesus chose that specific place, when any other water would have had the same effect. The miracle was in Jesus, not in the substances He chose. It was also in the trust, faith, and obedience of the blind man.
When he was king, Hezekiah had built a tunnel that would bring water into Jerusalem that was unavailable to King Sennecharib of Assyria during his siege of Jerusalem. This tunnel was cut into the rock beneath the city, accessing water from the River Gihon, which is one of the four rivers mentioned in Genesis as flowing out of the Garden of Eden. The life-saving water was sent through the tunnel to the people of Jerusalem at Siloam’s Pool. Here’s a video I hope you will enjoy:
Yes, I followed a rabbit trail today. It interested me, and I hope held some interest for you as well.
So Jesus sent the blind man to Siloam to wash his eyes. It is fitting that Jesus, sent of God, sent the blind man to water that was sent into Jerusalem to save the people from Sennecharib.
So the blind man went, washed, and returned–seeing!