And as Jesus made good his escape from those encircling fists clenching stones, he paused upon seeing a blind man among many begging along the road – it became clear that this man had never seen a thing his whole life.
Realizing this, the disciples saw the opportunity to see Jesus solve an old theological puzzle, so they asked him, “Okay, Rabbi, whose sin is responsible for this man’s blindness? His own or his parents? Is this an inherited condition, or one he’s responsible for?”
But Jesus saw more than an opportunity to solve a riddle.
Not taking his eyes off the blind man for a moment, he told them,
“You’re missing the point. Neither. Not this one, and not them either. You’re asking the wrong questions. The question is how can the wonder-works of God be seen in such a man’s blindness? We’re not here to speculate or conjecture over such a man’s condition, we’re here to do something about it – we’re here to be workers of God-wonders – to do what the Great Sending God would have us do while there’s still light in which to do it. Night comes all too soon, and such wonder-working opportunities will slip right through our idle fingers and then we can’t do anything about it. But as long as I’m in this world, I am the light of the world –
and watch me shine…”
And with that he suddenly spat on the ground,
and then stooping down,
this time he didn’t doodle in the dirt,
he played with it,
making his own little mud pie with his own spit.
Then, scooping up the mud pie, he shared a fresh anointing with the unsuspecting blind man: he anointed his eyes with his muddy mixture, rubbing it into his eyes to the now loud protests of the blind man.
When Jesus had finished his muddy work, he told the protesting blind man, “Okay, go and wash out your eyes then. Rinse them in the pool of Siloam (footnote: Siloam = Mission Springs or Water With a Purpose).
So the man went. And then he washed all the mud out of his eyes. And then he came back, unaided. Seeing. (Jesus, of course, was nowhere to be seen.)
His fellow beggars and panhandlers couldn’t believe their eyes – or his!
Everyone who laid eyes on this now former blind beggar keep muttering to each other, “This isn’t the man who sat here and begged day in and day out, is it? It can’t be!” Others, dumbfounded, began blurting out, “Wait a minute, this is him!” Others retorted, “No way! This guy just looks like him!”
Amidst all of their rapidly escalating debate the blind man just stood there saying, incredulously, “No it is me! I am that guy!”
Then they started their own little inquiry: “How is that possible? How were your eyes opened? How do you now see!?” Still not believing what had just happened, the now former blind man slowed himself down and told the simple tale:“This guy named Jesus made mud, smeared it all over these eyes of mine, and then said to me, simply, ‘Go to Mission Springs. Rinse.’ And that’s what I did. I went, I washed, I watched.”
Everyone standing around him asked him, “So where is this guy?”
And he said he didn’t have a clue.
He’d never laid eyes on him yet.