The word "blind" is mentioned 14 times in 41 verses. I think Jesus wanted to make sure we knew that this guy really was blind. We start out in verse one by reading the words "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth."
Before we went any further, we took a step backwards to examine the last verse in chapter eight. "Then they took up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." His life was in danger, he was about to be stoned and he passed by and away frm trouble.
Life as Jesus was not easy and yet he took time to notice a man in need as he passed by. We would do well to notice who we pass by in our daily travels. We would do well to pass by trouble. As the disciples were passing by, they noticed the man's condition. Instead of offering to help, they asked Jesus about the man's blindness. "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?"
Many folks think adversity is the result of sin. It can be, but most often it's a natural life struggle. Jesus makes a beautiful statement in answering their question. "Neither hath this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." What Jesus is saying is that this condition happened so that the glory of God could be revealed. Adversity is an opportunity to reveal God's glory.
Sometimes we pass by people and make a judgment regarding their condition. It would be more of a "Jesus-like" thing to do by asking how we can help them. Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud and puts it on the blind man's eyes. He then tells the blind man to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam (by interpretation, Sent.). I find that interesting because it seems to me like Jesus made the man's world darker.
Faith-building is a step by step process. Jesus goes to the man, muddies him up and then tells a blind man to take a walk toward water. That may seem hard enough, but add in the fact that this was in a crowded city with many people who viewed this guy or his parents as sinners. Building our faith requires action in trying circumstances.
After the man washes off his muddied eyes, he gains his physical sight. After we are washed in the water of the word, we gain (or regain) our spiritual sight. Our darkened (sinful) condition is muddied by the world of temptation around us. Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts and wants to put mud on our blind eyes. He was sent by the Father so that we would be sent in his name to share his love with a blind world.
Have at it my friends, it's a joyful and rewarding struggle that will knock your socks off! Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody whom you just might be passing by. Jesus loves you and so do we.