As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.
Jesus was born on Earth as a carpenter’s son. As a boy, he probably worked alongside his earthly father, Joseph, fetching tools and sweeping up sawdust. When Jesus began his ministry, he sought baptism from John. Symbolically, Jesus had the dust of earthly problems washed from him.
During the course of his ministry, Jesus would perform many miraculous acts. These would not only relieve suffering or fulfill a need, i.e. remove the dust, but they would also act as demonstrations of God’s power on Earth.
Jesus’ meeting of the blind man, which is recounted in John 9: 1-9, led to a teaching moment for the disciples and for us. The man had been blind from birth. The disciples asked of Jesus, whose sin had caused the man to be blind, was it the man or was it his parents? Jesus explained that the man’s blindness had occurred so that the wonder of God’s works on Earth might be shown.
Jesus spat on the dusty ground and made mud, which He spread on the man’s eyes. He then directed the man to go to the Pool of Siloam to wash his eyes. When the man did as Jesus had instructed, he regained his sight. Jesus had used two low, base things, spit and road dust, to work a miracle.
We know that Jesus’ death on the cross has washed us of the dust of sin. It is up to us to believe this and let others see it in us.
Dear Lord, May your love lead us to a less dusty life and may we work together to spread your love along the many dusty roads we travel in our lives. Amen