And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.…
Even amid the fury of the crowd Christ was entirely self-possessed, and the incident here recorded may have been introduced by the Evangelist for this, among other reasons, that he might bring out, by the force of the contrast that is here suggested between the excited violence of a multitude and the calmness of Christ, the vast, nay, infinite, superiority of Jesus to all other men. He was not excited. The beginning of all good to the sinner is when Jesus sees him thus; even as it was His perception of the ruined state of man, at first, that moved Him to become the Redeemer of the race. Now here we have a great general law pervading the Providence of God. It does not explain the origin of evil, but it shows how God brings good out of evil, and therefore helps to reconcile us to its existence. The anointing of the eyes with clay formed in the manner here described, was better calculated to make a seeing man blind, than to make a blind man see. Why, then, was such an application made? Perhaps to help the faith of the man who was to be cured. It gave him something to build upon. It gave him something to build upon. It raised his hope — nay, it led him to expect a cure; and that helps to account for the promptitude of his obedience. Then the command, "Go, wash in Siloam," suggests that in spiritual operations God has His work, and we have ours. Now let us observe two things in this brief account of a great miracle. The first is, the promptitude of the man's obedience. "He went away, therefore, and washed." Without any delay; without any reluctance; probably, also, without any misgiving — he went and did what he was told. Then observe also the perfection of the cure, "He came seeing." Seeing is a thing which, in all ordinary cases, needs to be learned. What Jesus did for him, He did perfectly; and when He opens the soul's eyes, they see clearly and correctly "wonderful things out of God's law," I have time now for only two practical lessons and to get them we shall go back to the very beginning of this remarkable chapter.
I. The first is, THAT THE MAINTENANCE OF A CALM AND UNTROUBLED SPIRIT IS ESSENTIAL BOTH TO THE PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE OF THE WORKS WHICH OUR FATHER HAS GIVEN US TO DO. Peace of spirit is essential if we would keep ourselves abreast of our opportunities and do each work at its own hour. Let us try to imitate the Saviour here; and to this end let us cultivate entire confidence in God, for trust in Him is peace.
II. The second practical lesson is, THAT THE RAISING OF QUESTIONS IN THE DOMAIN OF MERE SPECULATION INTERFERES WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PRESSING DUTIES OF PRACTICAL LIFE. Not the speculative, but the practical, demands our care.
(W. M. Taylor.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.