in search of the pool of Siloam

“[Jesus] spat 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.”

– John 9:6-7

Mud is good.This is my favorite New Testament story because Jesus made a mess of this guy before healing him. I wonder how the disciples reacted when Jesus picked up the mud he had just made from his own spit. This was outside the bounds of traditional medicine, even for first century standards!

Then to top it off, Jesus plopped the mud into the eyes of the blind man. I would have either been cracking up, or feeling really bad for what probably looked like a sick practical joke. But if Jesus was laughing, it was only for joy as he told the man to go to the Pool of Siloam to wash away his blindness. A lifetime of darkness was about to be washed away with the mess.

With a fresh reading of this story, I’m wondering what messes Jesus wants to make in my life. There are idols I’ve cared for and polished clean, habits I’ve depended on to get me through, and fears that I protect like my last dime of counterfeit money.

I need this mud from the Savior who has made a habit of messy ministry. From the muddy face of this blind man to the stench of Lazarus, four days dead, Christ is never hesitant to dirty his hands. His way of doing things is to disrupt so that he might put in order, to make a mess so that he might cleanse, and to die so that he might lead us into a Kingdom of life.

Maybe cleanliness isn’t next to godliness after all.

3 responses to “in search of the pool of Siloam

  1. If Jesus must make a mess of humanity before cleaning it up, then you are first in line, my friend! Loved the blog, how about ending it with “Maybe cleanliness IS next to godliness after all.” Instead of “isn’t”. Makes more of a point, instead of shattering your punch-line… You know?

  2. Point well taken. But think of it like this: let Jesus make a MESS with your way of doing things. In this case cleanliness isn’t next to godliness, right?

    Enjoy some irony!

  3. We follow an unconventional Jesus. I was thumbing through Yancey’s book Soul Survivor today and bumped into something along these lines. He was re-counting how Jesus was so much different than the religious leaders would have anticipated and told others what to be looking for. So it is today. We might miss Him if we aren’t careful. Wonderful insights.

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