Working Wonders with Mud and Spit - The Warrior's Journey®

Working Wonders with Mud and Spit

Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

Mud Crawl. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

In chapter nine of the Gospel of John, we read the story of a man who was blind from birth.

Jesus finds the man begging outside of the temple and heals him of his blindness. What is striking about this miracle, is the instrument by which Jesus performs it. He uses a mixture of spit and dirt to make mud, then He applies it to the blind man’s eyes. I suspect this is the original “Here’s mud in your eye!” Then Jesus tells the man to wash in the Pool of Siloam (in Jerusalem). The blind man washes his eyes and miraculously receives his sight.

A Little Bit of Greek

But the language John uses to describe what Jesus did with the mud and spit is somewhat curious. John says that Jesus “anointed” the blind man’s eyes with the mud (John 9:6, 11). The original Greek word that is used is epichrio—used only here in the New Testament.

In the centuries that followed, when some scribes made copies of the Gospel of John, they felt epichrio or chrio (both of which mean “to anoint”) were inappropriate to describe rubbing mud on a man’s eyes. So they substituted the more general Greek word epitithemi, “to put or place upon.” Epichrio (“anoint”) was too religious and sacred a word to describe such a dirty deed. After all, it is from chrio (“anoint”) that we get the word Christos, “Anointed One,” i.e. “Christ.”

Yet by “correcting” the Scripture they obscured a wonderful truth. Jesus did something sacred and miraculous through a mixture of dirt and spit. Jesus didn’t require the finest filtered oil from crushed olives, scented with Frankincense, through which to perform His miracles. In the hands of Jesus, ordinary spit and mud will do. Yes, God uses the mundane, ordinary, and down-right nasty things to perform the miraculous and to do the sacred.

Scripture Lifts Up the Mundane

This is confirmed elsewhere in the Scripture. Consider Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

Check out the “heroes of faith” that the Bible mentions in the Book of Hebrews, chapter eleven. There, we read of Rahab, the harlot, and of Jephthah, the illegitimate son of a prostitute. We also find Samson and David, both of whom had records riddled with moral failures. These people were the mud and spit of society. Yet, when they put their faith in God, God did miraculous and sacred things through them (Heb. 11:31–34).

‘Least Likely’

No one can say, “I’m not the ‘right stuff’ for God’s purposes. I’m not ‘Christian material.’ Maybe, once I get over my problems, then I can serve God.” No! Jesus called His apostles when they were “men of little faith” (Matt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20). God called Moses and Jeremiah when they lacked the eloquence to speak (Exod. 4:10; Jer. 1:6). God is always after the guy voted “least likely to be a prophet.”

Do you consider yourself the mud and spit of society? Then place yourself in the hands of Jesus. Let Him take you by the hand and lead you on a sacred and miraculous journey.


Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I don’t have the gifts, talents, strengths, personality, voice, or any other gift to make me fit to be Your disciple. I trust only in Your strength to make me greater than myself and to make me into the person You created me to be. Amen.

Information from: Bruce Metzger, Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, German Bible Society, 1975, pp. 227-28
In article photo: 100116-F-6188A-047 by the U.S. Air Force licensed under U.S. Govt. Work

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