When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
This cure is distinguished from most others by the careful use in it of intermediate agencies. Christ does not merely speak the word; there is a process of healing, and the use of these agencies is part of the sign to which St. John wishes to draw our attention. If the other signs testified that there is an invisible power at work in all the springs of our life — that there is a Fountain of life from which these springs are continually renewed — did not this testify that there is a potency and virtue in the commonest things; that God has stored all nature with instruments for the blessing and healing of His creatures? The mere miracle worker who draws glory to himself wishes to dispense with these things lest he should be confounded with the ordinary physician. The Great Physician, who works because His Father works, puts an honour on earth and water as well as upon all art which has true observation and knowledge for its basis. He only distinguishes Himself from other healers by showing that the source of their healing and renovating power is in Him. We have put our faith and our science at an immeasurable distance from each other. May not the separation lead to the ruin of both.
(F. D. Maurice, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,