After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.
I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed 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.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
Jesus healed this man born blind through the application of spittle and earth, sending him away to a pool, and then melted into the crowd. Of course the mud did not perform the healing, for it was simply a vehicle the Lord chose to perform His mighty work.
The man born blind did not see his Healer when he received his sight. He was on his own, doing as he was told, finding the pool of Siloam and washing his face. In this act of obedience, we must consider this to be the blind man’s exhibition of faith in his healer’s commands. This is extraordinary, though the Messiah’s fame had certainly passed through the city, for the man born blind to believe, would push the envelope of Jesus power to an unheard of result.
No man born blind had ever been healed in the Old Testament! There had been resurrections, as in the days of Elisha, but for a man born blind to receive his sight – that was unheard of!
Questions to Consider
Who were the audience?
During the actual healing, the ones witnessing this healing were the crowds at the pool of Siloam. They most likely had no context of the Lord’s interaction with the blind man, and this produced the questioning and random comments that became the fodder for future discussions, eventually landing on a ridiculous controversy over working on the Sabbath. Although we will not enter into that controversy in this post, those who are curious may visit Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 11 – An Interrogation
When did the Lord perform this mighty work?
Where did the Lord perform this mighty work?
The pool of Siloam is an interesting site, and due to construction work on a large water pipe south of the temple mount, was discovered only 20 years ago. The size of this pool was over 200 ft. long and many think it may have served as a ceremonial mikveh, that is a pool for ritual cleansing. It’s history is found in King Hezekiah’s construction of it in preparation for future sieges, and that it was fed by the Gihon Spring.
See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.
Why did the Lord perform this mighty work?
Jesus is the Light of the World. He performed this miracle to exhibit His personhood for all to see. Of course the blind man received his sight as an aside, a man who had been born blind, but this benefit for the blind man would be temporary, for he also would succumb to the ravages of death. But the miracle of giving sight to a man born blind has lived on, and shall always witness to the person of Christ.
What was the message for the original audience?
Jesus is God. He has been informing the masses, and the Jewish leadership through His teaching and His miracles, and the very miracle He performs with the healing of a man born blind speaks volumes.
Throughout the Old Testament, never had a man that had been born blind received his sight. Some that had been blinded recovered their sight, as in the days of Elisha. This is true, but a man who had never experienced vision given sight? That was beyond the pale!
The message? Jesus is the Light of the world. If you cannot see light, you are blind. No shame in this, for it is a simple statement of fact. But if a person states he sees, and does not understand that Jesus is the Messiah, that He is the One to whom we need to look to, that person remains blind, and lives in denial.
The message? Jesus is the Light of the world. He did not say He is a light of the world, implying one of many lights available. He is the Light of the world, with all other “sources of light” becoming less than visible. The many other “sources of light” are actually sources of darkness, sources of distraction and/or sources of destruction.
One Light is provided, and one Light is all that is needed. One Light that was extinguished so that we could be given the privilege to see.
What is the message for us today?
For believers today, the message is simple. Jesus is the Light of the World. It is the same old message, that thankfully does not change, though some who claim to be “lights” state otherwise. Yes there are many nowadays, so called “experts” making high faluting claims of their ability to give guidance, to provide direction for our lives, to even enforce moral codes or ethics upon the masses for the greater good.
My brother and sister – If your eyes are open to the Light, follow Him. Test all other “lights” by the True and Faithful light, for some “lights” may reflect Him, although weakly and faltingly. He is the True Light, and the source of Light that gives us wisdom, strength and power to live lives according to truth. He is the True Light, providing us marvelous light, a light that is brilliant, beyond our comprehension, and ever shining.
1Pet. 2:9 ¶ But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
To those who may still struggle with Jesus’ claims of Messiah, of being God in the flesh, of being the only way to the Father, of being the true Light of the world. To those who may still have their eyes closed, I have one plea.
Do not continue to actively reject the Light. Ignoring the Light is not an option. A decision has to be made, and ignoring a light, does not extinguish that light.
Deal with His claim! He has claimed the sole position of being the Light, the true illuminance of the Living God. He is the Light, and as such nothing will be hid from Him. Sin will be exposed. Rebellion, lies, theft, sexual unfaithfulness will be uncovered for all to see.
Admit your sin, your blindness, your stubbornness to the One who can cleanse you and give sight. Admit it now, while you have the freedom to agree of your own free will. There will come a time when the truth will be forced upon you, and at that time, the multiple benefits of seeing the Light will be extinguished.
Trust Him, by agreeing with Him, admitting your sin, and begin to learn of Him, for He is worthy, He is good, and He is alive.
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