Good Mud


Walking down the street, Jesus saw a blind man from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be blind.”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here.

He said this and then spit on the ground, making some [good] mud, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go” Jesus told the blind man, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.” So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

After some time Jesus meets up with the used-to-be-blind man again. He had just been thrown out of the Jewish council for not being able to explain how he came to see. Jesus asked him, “Do you believe in the son of Man?”

The man said, “Point him out to me so that I can believe.”

Jesus said, “You’re looking at him, don’t you recognize my voice?”

“Master, I believe,” the man said.

Some observations from this story:

  • Jesus used local resources to help the blind man
  • Jesus helped the man without regard to religion, race, etc…
  • Jesus helped the man without knowing if he’d ever see the blind man again.
    • Religious conversion wasn’t his sole purpose.
    • True to holistic ministry, Jesus didn’t have a sole purpose outside of the entire human being.
  • Jesus was only focused on what God wanted to do through this man.
  • Jesus made the blind man a part of the solution by making him go to the pool to wash.
    • It wasn’t easy for the man to go to the pool.
      • The pool was around 1,000 yards away
      • He had to be made fun of walking around with mud on his face.
      • There were probably other bathers there annoyed with this man putting his muddy face in the pool.
      • He acted without certainty that this would do anything for him.
  • Jesus healed physical blindness and spiritual blindness
  • The man told his family and friends what Jesus had done for him.
  • The man had a purpose after his encounter with Jesus – to share the good news.

I refer back to this story of Jesus and his Good Mud a lot in the midst of doing development work. It’s such a powerful illustration of how much deeper we can go if we focus on more than handouts and relief.


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