"Having said these things, he 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 v.6,7)
Jesus then spits on the ground and makes mud with His saliva. I love this. It is so robust, so unrefined and mucky. What a sign! Divine DNA rubbed into earthy matter. This action encapsulates the Incarnation. Saliva from the Son of the Father; a projectile of moist DNA from the Word falls into the dry earth and is then rubbed into the dust by the finger of God to make a substance that can open blind eyes.
God’s alchemy uses spit and earth to create a healing salve. That in itself is worth pondering on. There are hints here of a reenactment of the creation of Adam in Genesis, the action of the Word upon the clay of the earth. Healing and freedom, restoration to new creation, is a synergy of the word from God with the baseness of the fallen creation.
What occurs when Jesus spits on the earth? A mixture of that which is ‘un-fallen’ interacts with fallen creation and creates the healing mud. God wants to meld Himself into the dirt of the fallen earth and, as a result of that intermingling, the eyes of the blind will be opened.
It is not enough to anoint the man’s eyes with mud. He needs to act out another precondition before he can actually see. He must go to the Pool of Siloam and wash, and then his eyes will function properly again. Why is John, the Gospel writer, so careful to tell us what Siloam means? I would like the offer the view that it is because the blind man needs to return to a place where he knows what it is to be sent. He needs to be reconnected to a sense of coming from a source. An orphan is a person who is essentially sourceless, but a son always knows that he is sent from a higher and deeper source.
Remember what John the Baptist said, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” (John 3:27) To go and immerse yourself in that which is ‘sent’ is to return to the origin of all things. The eyes of our hearts became blinded when we became disconnected from the Sending Originator, the Father. It is not too big a stretch to suggest that going to a pool called ‘Sent’ is returning to a place of eternal belonging and in that place blind eyes can see again.