Why Did Jesus Spit?

Three times in the Bible, Jesus spit to heal people.

In Mark 7:32-35, a deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to Jesus. Jesus put His finger in the manís ears and, spitting, touched his tongue, then looked up to Heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephatha!" (that is, "Be opened!") And immediately the manís ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.

In Mark 8:22-25, in Bethsaida, a blind man was brought to Jesus. Jesus took the blind man outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes, He laid hands on him and asked, "Do you see anything?" Looking up the man replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking." Then Jesus laid hands on his eyes a second time and the man saw clearly, his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

In John 9:1-7, Jesus meets up with a blind man who was blind from birth. Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on the manís eyes, and said to him, "Go wash in the Pool of Siloam" (which means sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

Did you ever wonder why, in all these three healings, why Jesus spit? Why did He not just heal these three people, as He did all the others, without spittle?

One reason, I believe, is that in the days of Jesus, the Jewish people believed spittle from the first born of every family, had a great healing power. I believe Jesus, in going with that Jewish tradition, used His spittle in these three healings to testify to everybody that He was the first born of God the Father, and the only begotten Son of God.

To go further in this - you notice the Bethsaida blind man was not born blind, but became blind later in life. Otherwise how would he know what trees looked like, or people looking like trees walking. Jesus put spittle on this manís eyes to heal him. But the blind man in John 9 was born blind. This probably means he had no eyeballs at all, just empty sockets. Since God, as written in Genesis 2:7 "formed man out of the clay of the ground---", Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with His own saliva. He then formed and created two eyeballs out of this clay, the same way God formed and created Adam.

One other thing: Jesus took the blind man in Bethsaida, outside the village to heal him. Why take him outside Bethsaida? Could it tie in with what Jesus states in Matthew 11:20-22 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you."

Bethsaida, Chorazin and also Capernaum were cursed by Jesus because the people did not repent after all the miracles He had done there. I believe Jesus felt compassion for this blind man, but because of the way the people reacted to Jesus in the town itself, He had to take the blind man outside the city limits to heal him.

Hopefully this comment will help us understand why Jesus used spittle in some healings, why clay was used in one, and why the blind man was taken out of the town of Bethsaida for his healing.

By George Konig
September 5, 2004

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