Suggested further reading: John 9:13-38
We do not know the reason of the peculiar means employed by
our Lord in working this miracle. We see a blind man miraculously
healed. We know that a word from our Lord's mouth or a touch of his
hand would have been sufficient to effect a cure. But we see Jesus
taking this man by the hand, leading him out of the town, spitting on
his eyes, putting his hands upon him and, not till then, restoring
his sight. And the meaning of all these actions is left entirely unexplained.
It is well to remember in such passages that the Lord is not
tied to any one means. In the conversion of men's souls there are
diversities of operation, but it is the same Spirit that converts. So in
the healing of men's bodies there are varieties of agency employed
by our Lord, but the same divine power effected the cure. In all
his works God is sovereign.
This man was not delivered from his blindness at once, but
by degrees. The Lord might have done it in a moment but he chose
to do it step by step. First the man saw partially (v. 24) then
completely (v. 25). In this respect this miracle stands alone.
This gradual cure is a striking illustration of the manner in
which the Spirit frequently works in the conversion of souls. We are
all blind and ignorant in things that concern our souls. Conversion is
an illumination, a change from darkness to light, from blindness to
seeing. Yet few converted people see things distinctly at first. The
nature and proportion of doctrines, practices and ordinances are dimly
seen and imperfectly understood. Their vision is unaccustomed to
the new world into which they have been introduced. It is not till
the work of the Spirit has become deeper and their experience has
somewhat matured that they see all things clearly. Happy is he who
has learned this lesson well and is humble and distrustful of his
This gradual cure is also a picture of the present position
of Christ's believing people in the world compared with that which
is to come. We see now indistinctly; then clearly.
For meditation: It does not matter whether a conversion is
gradual or instantaneous as long as it is real!