Let’s read the whole account of Jesus giving sight to this poor blind man. “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the 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 these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:1-9….NKJV).

The prophet Isaiah had said that Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, would “open the eyes of the blind” (see Isaiah 42:7; 29:18; and 35:5). He didn’t say HOW He would do it; he simply stated the fact that He would do it. On some occasions Jesus simply TOUCHED THEIR EYES and they received their sight (see Matthew 9:27-31 and 20:29-34). With others it is simply said that HE HEALED THEM (see Matthew 12:22; 15:30 and 21:14). I assume He simply SPOKE and they were healed. The healing of the blind man in our portion is the only time that Jesus used mud, saliva and water to perform the miracle, though in Mark 8:23 we do read of Him healing a blind man by “spitting on his eyes.” Before we say another word, let’s be clear on one thing. This was indeed a MIRACLE! I’m quite sure the mud had no healing properties in it that bring sight to the blind. I’m also sure that the water in the pool of Siloam, in and of itself, did not produce the miracle of sight. This miracle was done solely by the Lord Jesus and thus He alone deserves all the glory.

So, why did Jesus use MUD in this particular miracle? Some say He was doing this in defiance of the Pharisees who would look upon the making of clay as the “breaking of the Sabbath.” In verses 13-16 we read, “They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.’ Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.’” In this view Jesus was showing the self-righteous Pharisees that He was the “Lord of the Sabbath” (see Matthew 12:8) and that He had every right and the authority to heal a man on the Sabbath by whatever means He chose.

Another view is the Jesus used the MUD to test the man’s faith. If anything, the mud in his eyes would make it even more impossible to see, yet the Lord then tells him to “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” Would he obey the Lord’s command? He surely did, for we saw that “he went and washed, and came back seeing.”

A third view is that Jesus used the mud to prove His claim that He is God, the Divine Potter. In Job 10:9 we hear Job saying, “Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay,” and later (in 33:6) Elihu said to Job, “Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay.” In saying these words both Job and Elihu were confessing that God formed them “out of clay.” Likewise, the blind man in John 9 experienced the same Creator’s hand forming clay and giving him sight. (328.3) (DO)