Disgusting, puzzling, strange, weird, that’s terrible! Those might be the reactions when someone reads Mark 8:23. Jesus spit in a poor blind man’s eyes. How would you feel if you went to the doctor for a solution to an eye affliction and he spit in your eyes? Why would Jesus spit in a blind’s man’s eyes?
That doesn’t make any sense or does it?
First of all, if a person reads the verse, it says that Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes and not in the blind man’s eyes. Still, why would he spit at all?
There is another occasion of Jesususing spit or saliva in the healing process of another blind man and it is found at John 9:1, 6. Here we are told that Jesus spat on the ground and made clay spittle and put the clay on the blind man’s eyes.
Both men regained their eyesight. However, the question remains. Why did Jesus use spit or saliva in the healing process? Does saliva have some miraculous healing properties?
Apparently in Jesus’ day, the general view was that saliva contained healing properties. So, Jesus used spit to communicate to the blind man that a healing of his sight was about to take place. Jesus used spit to kindly prepare those blindmen that healing of their sight was about to take place.
What a gentle and considerate way for Jesus to reassure these poor blind men, that had lived all their lives without sight, that their requests for a restoration of their sight was about to be fulfilled. When they heard Jesus spit then they expectations of a healing was heightened and they knew that it was imminent.
Jesus, with kind consideration started the process that eventually led to their full recovery from a dark world. By spitting, Jesus used tender bedside manners as is the trademark of all considerate physicians.
However, there is another healing miracle of another blind man where no spitting or saliva was used. This shows there was nothing miracoulous or healing about the saliva. See Mark 10:46-51.
So, whenever we encounter a n unusual or puzzling passage in the Bible, like Jesus spitting on a blind man's eyes, it is good to do a little research into the historical background to get a better understanding.