THE MAN WITH CLAY ON HIS FACE
John ix: 1 to 41.
NE 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 world."
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?"
THE POOL OF SILOAM AS SEEN TO-DAY
"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
"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
 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
"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 comes!"
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 these!"
The rulers of the Jews, these Pharisees, then said to
the man, "You were born in sin; and do you try to teach
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.