Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.”
10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”
He said, “I do not know.” – John 9:1-12.
Jesus makes clay with His own saliva and anoints the man’s eyes. He sends him to the nearby pool of Siloam and the man comes back washed and seeing. Such is the change that people find it is hard to believe it is the same man, and ask him how his eyes were opened.
The man tells what has happened, but he does not know Jesus’ current location.
“that the works of God should be revealed” (v.3). — Some of our sufferings, like the trials of Job, are for God’s glory, either through our resulting refinement or through a spectacular healing as in the present case. God’s purpose is not always presently known to us, but we have God’s assurance that His purpose is good (Rom. 8:28).
He spat on the ground (v.6). — In Mark 8:23–25, Jesus also used saliva in the course of a healing. It was not a medical agent, but provided an opportunity for the man to show his faith by obeying Jesus’ command (v. 7).
“He is like him” (v.9). — The miracle was so amazing that onlookers could not believe it was the same man.
“I do not know” (v.9). — As the story develops, the healed man moves forward in the path of faith. Here, he does not know where Jesus is; later he asserts that Jesus is a prophet (v. 17); later still he raises doubts about the accusation that Jesus is a sinner (v. 25); and finally, after meeting Jesus again, he acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God and worships Him (vv. 35–38). These steps of faith illustrate what the writer of this Gospel account wants for his readers (20:31).