The Pool of Siloam
(John chapter 20)
The Pool of Siloam is located in Jerusalem and is about four times the length, width, and depth of a typical backyard swimming pool. It is fed from the spring Gihon through an underground tunnel which was cut through solid rock during the reign of King Hezekiah around 700 B.C..
This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
II Chronicles 32:30
The pool and tunnel still exist today.
1. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus' disciples assumed that this man's blindness was a direct result of his own or his parents' sin. Sometimes people's physical problems are a result of their sin (e.g., lung cancer caused from smoking) or someone else's sin (e.g., a birth defect resulting from the mother's drug use during pregnancy), but many times this is not the case at all. Jesus had to correct the thinking of his disciples accordingly. How many times do we falsely judge someone who is experiencing difficulty as if it were a direct result of their personal sin?
3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Sometimes problems are ultimately for God's glory. We skip now to verse 6:
6. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Siloam means "sent". Jesus was sent to this blind man by his Father and Jesus ultimately sent the blind man to us (through his testimony in the scriptures) so that we can receive sight (spiritual sight).
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
What did Jesus use to give this man sight? Clay and water. We can look at this in a number of ways, but allow me to suggest the following - clay could represent those who submit themselves to God to be molded for his service and water could represent God's word:
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
God uses his willing servants and his word to bring spiritual sight to others. Now, let's skip down to verse 16 where a division was created:
16. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
When God opens someone's eyes to truth and they choose to receive and cling to that truth, a division results. Division can be the result of spiritual carnality, pride, and similar issues, but if it is the result of a godly desire to follow truth without needlessly offending others, it is generally a good thing. It creates a contrast between truth and error - something that this lost world desperately needs to see, and which the great majority of professing Christianity is so desperately trying to avoid. It can lead to salvation as it did with the man born blind as we skip down to verse 35:
35. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36. He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
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