rinse. no need to repeat. | John 9.6-7
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. John 9.6-7 | ESV
And with that he suddenly spat on the ground, and then stooping down, this time he didn’t doodle in the dirt, he played with it, making his own little mud pie with his own spit. Then, scooping up the mud pie, he shared a fresh anointing with the unsuspecting blind man: he anointed his eyes with his muddy mixture, rubbing it into his eyes to the now loud protests of the blind man. When Jesus had finished his muddy work, he told the protesting blind man, “Okay, go and wash out your eyes then. Rinse them in the pool of Siloam (footnote: Siloam = Mission Springs or Water With a Purpose). So the man went. And then he washed all the mud out of his eyes. And then he came back, unaided. Seeing. (Jesus, of course, was nowhere to be seen.) MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
We should be able to agree that of all words counter-intuitive applies to this scene and Jesus’ modus operendi. If someone can’t see, it would appear only logical that rubbing mud into his eyes would probably not improve his overall condition but rather aggravate it.
Welcome to the Jesus school of ministry.
I’m pretty sure that when we pray for God’s anointing this would be the last thing we have in mind. We might want to think about being more specific. Just saying. For in the counter-intuitive working of God when he gets his hands on us our condition often is exacerbated rather than alleviated.
No, that doesn’t preach well, but it’s reality.
I’m imagining this born-blind beggar suddenly accosted by Someone he (obviously) can’t see, and then feeling mud rubbed into his already clouded eyes. Now cloudy eyes are filled with fire.
Does Jesus have him sign a consent waiver?
Did he get his permission?
Explain the procedure?
It doesn’t say he did.
And he sure rarely does so with us.
Like the born-blind beggar we too suddenly find ourselves accosted by unseen hands, our eyes unmercifully, it would seem, suddenly assaulted, roughly rubbed, burning, searing.
When will he stop?
Why is he doing this to me?
What have I done to deserve this?
“Why is this thus and so and what is the reason for this thusness?”
I was doing alright. I was managing.
Why is he doing this to me?!
Then, finally, after what seems like an eternity, he releases us.
He releases us to rinse.
We stumble and fumble towards the pool.
Does the assaulter of my soul gently lead me, comforting me each step towards the water?
He points me in the right direction and I’m left to fumble my way there, perhaps finding a sympathetic hand or two to guide me along the way – or am I just sport to them too? And finally, the water. This water with a purpose – that purpose now being to rinse my eyes of the “blessed” mud afflicting them. And as I wash away the mud it suddenly happens.
For the first time.
Water with a purpose, dripping, rippling out, and in the center,
What muddy measures has God applied to the eyes of your life – or is he presently applying them? Where did you (will you) find water for a rinse? What did you come to see through this experience?
Light of the world, give me endurance and grace to receive the rough and muddy anointing of your hands, to bear the burning in my eyes, to receive the rinsing flow of water at your word, through your word. Through Jesus.