Let’s begin by noticing that the Lord didn’t tell the blind man to go wash in just any body of water, He was very specific about the pool of Siloam. This reminds us of how when Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan, the leper was insulted. He figured the rivers in his country could cleanse him better, but he remained a leper until he washed in the river of Israel. This was symbolic of how Gentiles had to forsake the cleansing found in their own country’s religion and turn to the religion of Israel to be cleansed.
Here in John 9, there is similar symbolism. John tells us that “Siloam” means Sent, and so speaks of the Son that God sent into the world (John 3:17,34; 5:23; 6:40; 10:36). The blind man’s washing in this pool symbolized how sinners must be washed from their sins by Christ. People often say, “My religion can cleanse me just as well as Christ, but like Naaman, they will remain uncleansed until they come to Christ. Since John’s gospel is a book of symbols about Israel, he was also a symbol of how the spiritually blind nation must be cleansed by Christ.
The name Siloam is the New Testament version of the word Shiloh, a name that is defined by the law of first reference in Genesis 49:10, where Jacob predicted that Judah would spawn a line of kings that would stretch “until Shiloh come.” Since Shiloh is defined as one to whom the people of Israel would someday gather, we know that this is a reference to Christ, the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). The name Shiloh means place of rest, and the Lord offered rest to the weary and heavy laden (Mt.11:28). Shiloh was also a city, where the ark of the covenant once rested (ISam. 4:3,4). The ark was the dwelling place of God in the Old Testament, and Christ was the dwelling place of God in the New Testament. So there is no doubt that Shiloh was a type of Christ, sent by God to give us rest. Are you resting in what He did for you on the Cross?
When doctors restore a man’s sight, he has to be introduced to light gradually, but this man “came seeing” after washing (John 9:7), a type of how Israel will see the light all at once in a day, the day the Lord returns for them. And when we see a blind man “healed” by a healer on TV, we rightly wonder if he was really blind. That’s why John adds that this blind man was well known (John 9:8). John 9:9 proves that for those who will not believe, no proof is possible. They refused to believe he was the blind man they knew, until he said “I am he.” Here he uses the name of God (Ex. 3:14) and Christ (John 8:58), symbolizing how when you get saved, you are identified with Christ.
In John 9:10, these same skeptics wonder how the blind man had really been healed. Skeptics always ask this, when confronted with a miracle. Some of the Corinthians had stopped believing in resurrection, and so asked how the dead are raised (ICor.15:35). Since Paul answers “thou fool” (v.36), you know this was asked by skeptics who re-fused to believe in resurrection because they couldn’t explain it. So how’d Paul explain it? He doesn’t even try, instead just compares it to the growth of a seed (v.36,37). No farmer or botanist can explain how a seed grows; some things God does you just can’t explain, like the growth of a fetus (Eccl.11:5). Men can’t explain it; they can’t even explain the growth of a simplest seed (Mark 4:26,27).
There is something else man can’t explain. In Jeremiah 36:1-4, Baruch is caused to write the Word of God through Jeremiah. And what was God’s message through the prophet? That Israel was so bad, God was about to punish her (v.3). This was not a popular message, especially among the leaders who were responsible for Israel’s spirit-uality. So when the leaders asked that it be read to them (v.14-16), they then asked how Baruch wrote the words (v.17). They didn’t like the message, so they questioned whether his words were actually the words of God. How does Baruch explain it? “God spoke through the prophet and I wrote it down” (v.18)! You can’t explain inspiration any more than you can explain the growth of a seed or baby
The blind man was a beggar who didn’t know much, but he could tell what had happened to him (John 9:11). You may not know much about the finer points of salvation, but you can tell people what happened when you got saved!