Why did Jesus put spit on the blind man?

John 9 Jesus heals man born blind

Background: John 7

In my blog “The SECOND Blood Moon had a matcher too!” @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-second-blood-moon-had-a-matcher-too/, I explained the significance of what Jesus did on Tishri 21, 3793 HY, which was the seventh day of Sukkot in 32 CE.

The seventh day of Sukkot (Tishri 21) is known as the Great Day or Hoshana Rabba. Hoshana means SAVE US. On this day, the priests processed around the altar seven times, singing the Great Hoshana prayer. Then they poured living water over the altar with great pomp and ceremony. (“Living water” came from the spring-fed Pool of Siloam.)

John 7:37-38 says, “On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’”

In other words, after the priests had poured out the libation of living water and begged God seven times to “SAVE US”, Jesus stood up and claimed before everyone there that He was the source of the living water of eternal salvation. And Jesus’ Jewish name – Yeshua – means “HE SAVES.”

I was trying to impress on Dearest what radically blaspheming crazy-talk this was, but he didn’t get it until I put it into a Catholic context for him.

Imagine you’re at Mass and the priest raises the host high in the air and says, “This is my Body,” and some guy in the congregation jumps up and says, “That’s me! I’m the Body of Christ! Eat me! Eat me!”

Look. Jesus wasn’t some nice teacher who said some pretty words. He either was a dangerous whack job on the order of a Jimmy Jones or else He is the Messiah, sent by God to suffer and die for the salvation of sinners. There’s no middle ground. Seriously … would YOU give any credence to the preachings and teachings of some off-his-meds ranter who told you to eat him?

More Background: John 8

In my blog “What did Jesus write?” @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/what-did-jesus-write/, I explained about what happened the next day, when Jesus was confronted on Shemini Atzeret (Tishri 22) with the woman caught in adultery.

The very next thing John records is where Jesus tells the Pharisees, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12) and I am not alone, but it is I and the Father who sent me (John 8:16) and if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins (John 8:24).

Then John says He told the Jews who believed in Him, If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31ff).

Why did Jesus use spit on the blind man?

Shemini Atzeret (Tishri 22) was on Thursday that year. The subsequent teachings in John 8 could’ve occurred on Thursday and/or Friday. Then, the very next thing John writes about is how Jesus healed the man born blind ON THE SABBATH (John 9:14). The Sabbath following the incident with the woman caught in adultery was only TWO DAYS LATER.

Before my studies this week, the part where Jesus made clay with his own spit and put it on the blind man’s eyes just grossed me out. Now that I understand the whole context, I realize He had an extraordinarily beautiful message for us all in that act. Read this passage, remembering what I explained above, all of which the Jews would have been buzzing about on the day Jesus did this:

John 9 Healing blind man mosaic

As he passed by 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 he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).

So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

(John 9:1-7)

Not to belabor the point, but YOIKS!

The Jews believed being born blind was the result of sin. For Jesus to heal a man born blind was equivalent to proving He not only had the power to heal, but that He also had the authority to forgive sins.

After the man washed, he could see; Jesus said He was the light of the world.

Jesus used His spit – the water of His mouth from whence come the words of truth and eternal life – to make mud from the dust on the ground. “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Then He told the man to wash specifically in the Pool of Siloam, the pool from which the priests had drawn the living water for the great SAVE US prayer, which Jesus (whose name means HE SAVES) claimed He had come to answer.

Jesus said the Father had sent Him; Siloam means SENT.



Filed under Bible History

4 responses to “Why did Jesus put spit on the blind man?

  1. Years ago, someone told me that the reason Jesus’ disciples thought the man’s blindness was caused by the sins of his parents is that in the days before antibiotics, venereal disease in a child’s parents often resulted in blindness in the child.


    • BoB, that’s modern-looking-back thinking. While much myth & folklore has a basis in observation, I figure this has a low chance of being right. Like when folks surmise that pork was forbidden because of trichinosis. Had nothing to do with, you know, Divine Command. Just sanitation. 🙄 The general idea that fortune meant blessings and misfortune meant punishment was something Jesus had to deal with a lot. And we still do today.


  2. By chance (yeah, right), I happened to touch on this healing of the blind man just a few days ago. You’ll be shocked, I’m sure, to be informed that I took a somewhat different angle of approach than chrissyth:

    But not utterly different. When chrissy said it “just grossed me out,” it reminded me of this line from what I wrote:

    “Suddenly, there was mud on his eyelids. WTF, thought Josiah? That’s spit!”

    Also funny, when I published it on my site, I used the same pic chrissy used above. Image Search We Much?



  3. “The Spittle” by Apologetix. (A parody of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.) This track is from their “Adam Up” CD.

    Hey, don’t write your song ’bout spit
    It’s only in you head to fill your mouth — well, look out, Mom
    The Bible says Christ healed a sightless man
    With only dirt and spit He twirled Himself — He cured this way

    He just takes some grime, lets it swirl in the spittle
    Rubs his eyes with it and then the man could see just fine
    ‘Cause he left everything to Jesus Christ in John 9

    Hey, you know this song is strange
    I know you’re droolin’ at the thought of more (thought of more) — I know I am
    So get a Bible out and just brace yourself
    Because in chapter eight in the book of Mark (book of Mark)
    There’s somewhere else

    He just takes some blind little-known individual
    Rubs his eyes with His spit, then He says, “Are you alright?”
    Then the man said it looked like trees — oh my! Hold tight!
    It just takes two times — didn’t have to double-dribble
    Touched the guy just once again and he could see just fine
    Yes and the medicine was real saliva, no lie

    Hey, don’t write this song off yet
    There’s one more incident that we left (we left out) so look that up
    This dude was deaf (both mute and deaf)
    Christ put his fingers in (He put his fingers in)
    And don’t worry ’bout the the spitting part (spitting part) I’m gonna say

    He just takes saliva — yeah, the Lord spit a little
    Then applied it to the deaf man’s tongue and Jesus sighed
    And said “Ephphatha” and his ears were quite alright
    So just take some time in the Word, read a little
    Of the Bible — Mark chapter seven’s where you’ll meet the guy
    Then read the rest of it you’ll see the light