The Man with Clay on His Face
Jesus and the Blind Beggar
John ix: 1 to 41.
Sabbath-day, as Jesus and his disciples were walking
in Jerusalem, they met a blind man begging. This man
in all his life had never seen, for he had been born
blind. The disciples said to Jesus, as they were
passing him, "Master, whose fault was it that this
man was born blind? Was it because he has sinned, or
did his parents sin?"
For the Jews thought that when any evil came, it was
caused by some one's sin. But Jesus said, "This man
was born blind, not because of his parents' sin, nor
because of his own; but so that God might show his
power in him. We must do God's work while it is day;
for the night is coming when no man can work. As
long as I am in the world, I am the light of the
When Jesus had said this he spat on the ground, and
mixed up the spittle with earth, making a little
lump of clay. This clay Jesus spread on the eyes of
the blind man, and then he said to him, "Go and wash
in the pool of Siloam."
The pool of Siloam was a large cistern or reservoir
on the southeast of Jerusalem, outside the wall,
where the valley of Gihon and the valley of the
Kedrom come together. To go to this pool the blind
man, with two great blotches of mud on his face,
must walk through the streets of the city, out of
the gate, and into the valley. He went, and felt his
way down the steps into the pool of Siloam. There he
washed, and then at once his lifelong blindness
passed away, and he could see. When the man came
back to the part of the city where he lived, his
neighbors could scarcely believe that he was the
same man. They said, "Is not this the man who used
to sit on the street begging?"
"This must be the same man," said some; but others
said, "No, it is some one who looks like him."
But the man said, "I am the very same man who was
"Why, how did this come to pass?" they asked him.
"How were your eyes opened?"
"The man called Jesus," he answered, "mixed clay,
and put it on my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to the
pool of Siloam and wash,' and I went and washed, and
then I could see."
"Where is this man?" they asked him.
"I do not know," said the man.
Some of the Pharisees, the men who made a show of
always obeying the law, asked the man how he had
been made to see. He said to them, as he had said
before, "A man put clay on my eyes, and I washed,
and my sight came to me."
Some of the Pharisees said, "The man who did this is
not a man of God, because he does not keep the
Sabbath. He makes clay, and puts it on men's eyes,
working on the Sabbath-day. He is a sinner."
Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such
wonderful works?" And thus the people were divided
in what they thought of Jesus. They asked the man
who had been blind, "What do you think of this man
who has opened your eyes?"
"He is a prophet of God!" said the man.
But the leading Jews would not believe that this man
had gained his sight until they had sent for his
father and his mother. The Jews asked them, "Is this
your son, who you say was born blind? How is it that
he can now see?"
His parents were afraid to tell all they knew; for
the Jews had agreed that if any man should say that
Jesus was the Christ, the Saviour, he should be
turned out of the synagogue, and not be allowed to
worship any more with the people. So his parents
said to the Jews, "We know that this is our son, and
we know that he was born blind. But how he was made
to see we do not know, or who has opened his eyes we
do not know. He is of age; ask him, and let him
speak for himself." Then again the rulers of the
Jews called the man who had been blind; and they
said to him, "Give God the praise for your sight. We
know that this man who made clay on the Sabbath-day
is a sinner."
"Whether that man is a sinner or not, I do not
know," answered the man; "but one thing I do know,
that once I was blind, and now I see." They said to
him again, "What did this man do to you? How did he
open your eyes?"
"I have told you already, and you would not listen,"
said the man. "Why do you wish to hear it again? Do
you intend to believe in him and be his followers?"
This made them very angry, and they said to the man,
"You are his follower; but we are followers of
Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses; but as for
this fellow, we do not even know from what place he
The man said, "Why, that is a very wonderful thing!
You who are teachers of the people, do not know who
this man is, or from what place he comes; and yet he
has had power to open my eyes! We know that God does
not hear sinners; but God hears only those who
worship him and do his will. Never before has any
one opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man
were not from God, he could not do such works as
The rulers of the Jews, these Pharisees, then said
to the man, "You were born in sin; and do you try to
And they turned him out of the synagogue, and would
not let him worship with them. Jesus heard of this;
and when Jesus found him he said to him, "Do you
believe on the Son of God?"
The man said, "And who is he, Lord, that I may
believe on him?" "You have seen him," said Jesus,
"and it is he who now talks with you!"
The man said, "Lord, I believe." And he fell down
before Jesus and worshipped him.
Jesus and the Blind Beggar