When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.’ Then he went and washed and came back able to see. (John 9, 6 – 7)
What I find remarkable in this scenario is the compassion Jesus had shown to the man born-blind. Jesus meets the desperation of human need with an understanding compassion. He sees the blindness of the man as an avenue so that God’s works might be revealed.
At times, we thank God when he hears our prayer. We praise him when we realized that he answered our prayers. We asked God what we want and we are happy when he gives it to us – when he grants it.
In this account in the Gospel of John, the man born-blind did really nothing that moved Jesus to heal him and make him see. It was not because of his own doing. He didn’t even ask Jesus. It was purely God’s initiative. It was Jesus who spat on the ground and made mud with his saliva and spread it on the man’s eyes. All those series of actions were only his.
Isn’t it wonderful to realize that God is reaching out to us even without us asking him? He sees our desire. He sees our deepest desire. He always reaches out his hand ready to help and give us sight.
His was a gesture of humility – a mark of a very humble man, who would not ask any credit for himself but as John accounts it, what would reveal God’s work.
When we think of God abandoning us because of the difficult situation we find ourselves in; when we think of God punishing us through our sickness; when we think of God being distant with us because he seems not to care about us and our loved ones who are in grave situation, this account in the Gospel of John is telling us that most often than not it is God that takes the first move to spat on the ground and made mud with his saliva and spread the mud on our eyes, (on our hearts) so that we will come to see, we will come to our senses that it is only in him that we can find refuge, comfort and consolation from whatever burden we are carrying in our lives.
JULIUS HABANA (san jose seminary)