Siloám Part 2: The Sent One

2 Corinthians 3:18
“18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

What does the opening passage has to do with the subject at hand? The answer may surprise you and, though it’s kind of a long story, worth it. 😉 Come and see!

History And Construction Of Siloám.

If you read part 1, you already know that, “Siloám,” means, “Sent One.”  The Holy Spirit, our Master Storyteller, has great purpose in mentioning the name of this famous pool, not only because of its meaning, but also its history.

It was a rock-hewn pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem.  Located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast, it was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring. It was constructed to provide a water supply inside the city in order to protect it in case of a siege.  

The water was carried there by two aqueducts and fed by the newly constructed Siloám tunnel. The Gihon Spring had previously emptied in a large open basin at its source, before being conveyed to the City by the aqueduct. This basin is sometimes known as the Upper Pool (2 Kings 18:17, Isaiah 7:3).  But the aqueduct was very vulnerable to attackers.  So, under threat from the Assyrian king Sennacherib, Hezekiah sealed up the old outlet of the Gihon Spring and the Upper Pool and built the underground Siloam tunnel in place of the aqueduct.

This pool (obviously) was in use during the time of Jesus.  Some scholars, influenced by Jesus commanding the blind man to wash in the pool, suggest that it was probably used as a mikveh, or baptismal, though not the kind of baptism we in the Church know as an outward sign of our new birth. Jewish people used such sites for ritual cleansing. More about that in part 3.

No Degrees Of Dead.

All of us come to Christ the same way:  As sinners.  The Bible says that we are all dead in trespasses and sins.  Using death as a metaphor for sin, there are no degrees of dead. Dead is dead. Outside of Christ, we are all equally dead, spiritually speaking.

Since we are all equally dead, every single one of us needs the same remedy:  A Savior! We all need to be washed of our sins in the “Pool” of the Sent One. Then, once we are saved, we need to wash daily with the water of the word to get the dust of this life off our feet as we walk through it.

Three Resurrection Miracles.

As the scriptures say, “There is NONE GOOD; no not one.”  This fact is clearly demonstrated in the three resurrection miracles described below:

#1. Jesus raised Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter. #2. He also raised the son of the widow Nain. #3. Then we come Lazarus.  Jairus’ daughter had been dead for probably less than an hour and the widow’s son for 12 hours or so. Not so Lazarus…..he was was dead FOUR DAYS! 😲

Regarding the first two miracles, the scribes and Pharisees could possibly dismiss or explain away them away.  As you know, they were always looking for a way to discredit Jesus.  Perhaps the first two had simply been unconscious.  Lazarus’ resurrection, however, they could not deny or explain away.

Alhough all three had been dead for different lengths of time, point is THEY WERE ALL EQUALLY DEAD.  Understanding this fact helps explain what Jesus meant after a terrible tragedy occurred:  The collapse of the Tower of Siloám.  It was quite the topic of conversation in those days as a great number of  people had been killed when it fell.  (We’ll be discussing it later on).

We All Equally Need A Savior.

Romans 3:23 says, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” These three miracles perfectly drive home the message that we are all EQUALLY wicked sinners.  As limited, mortal beings, we like to think some people are more evil than others, like the Hitlers or Sadam Houseins of the world. But God doesn’t see it that way.  To Him, DEAD IS DEAD.  No one is any more or less DEAD than any other and every one needs the same exact remedy:  A SAVIOR!

Different Degrees Of Sin.

Though we are equally all sinners, there actually are definite degrees of sin.  Jesus Himself said so.  When He was delivered to the Roman magistrate, He told Pontius Pilate  “He who delivered Me to you has the GREATER sin.”  There are also different degrees of punishment and condemnation according to Matthew 23:14. Though the three people above who were raised back to life were all equally dead, they had been dead for different lengths of time, depicting degrees of sin.  

Church, Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  He didn’t come to make bad people good; HE CAME TO MAKE DEAD PEOPLE LIVE.  It is only human to think that there is some good in us somewhere, but that’s just our tendency toward self-righteousness.  The scripture says point blank, however, that “in our flesh dwells no good thing.” Romans 7:18.

Self Righteousness.

Self righteousness was the biggest problem Jesus encountered when He was on earth.  The Pharisees, who were really full of it and themselves, came to Him time and again about various petty little issues concerning the law.  They didn’t really want answers to their questions.  They just wanted to try and trap Him, like the woman “caught” in the act of adultery. hah! It was more likely set-up.  

If you’d like to read more about that whole sordid entrapment scheme, you may follow the link below:

Pharisees’ Viewpoint.

Let me give you an idea of how things looked from the Pharisses’ point of view.  You see, for 1500 years the Jews had been under the law of Moses.  Read through Leviticus sometime.  There are lots of laws regarding how to treat the diseased and the unclean, what food was clean and what was unclean, etc.  Including the big Ten, there are 613 laws in all!

All those years, the priests had always the central figures.  Everyone had to come to the THEM when they were sick to be diagnosed and treated of diseases or pronounced either clean or unclean BY THEM according to Levitical law.

Now and then people were healed, though none from any really debilitating diseases like leprosy.  The only recorded healing of this dreaded disease was Naaman who wasn’t even a Jew.  In fact, he was the commander-in-chief of their arch enemies, the Syrians, the ultimate “bad guys!” 

It isn’t very hard to imagine that, after a while, the priests began to get rather puffed up with their own importance, is it?

Fast forward now to Jesus’ day.  He healed and delivered countless thousands of people, though The Holy Spirit has chosen to record only a handful of them in the gospels; 33 to be exact. Kinda gives the mistaken impression those were the only miracles He performed…..until you come across this little verse in John:”And there are also MANY other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that EVEN THE WORLD ITSELF COULD NOT CONTAIN THE BOOKS THAT WOULD BE WRITTEN. Amen. John 21:25 

WOW!  Amazing statement!

So picture this:  A sea of needy people of all descriptions; diseased, blind, deaf, lame, demon-possessed, you name it.  No doubt they lined both sides of the road several rows deep perhaps along whichever way Jesus would pass, each one hoping for a word, a look or a touch from The Master.  

Ah, but behind Him was a sea of excited people jumping, screaming, crying, shouting and PRAISING GOD!  They thronged the road behind Him because JESUS HEALED THEM ALL! You know what He told them to do, don’t you?  Go and see the priest to be pronounced clean!  Where previously there had been virtually no one healed healed NOW THEY WERE INUNDATED!   

Jealous?  YOU BET they were! 

Jesus created such a stir that a whole bunch of these hypocrites followed Him to a home in Capernaum to see for themselves.  The house was so full to overflowing, the friends of the paralytic had to bring him up on the roof and tear open a hole to lower him down.  It was the only way they could get him in front of Jesus! 

The Works Of The Law.

The righteousness of the Pharisees was based on the “works of the law.”  Still is.  They preach “do good, get good, do bad, get bad,” thinking they are preaching the gospel.  THEY ARE NOT.

God knows we can’t not keep the law.  It wasn’t given for us to try and keep in the first place anyway.  It was designed to expose our sinfulness and OUR DESPERATE NEED FOR A SAVIOR!  That it does VERY WELL.  Remember, the strength of sin the THE LAW.  Such preachers do not understand this.

Jesus is the only One Who can–AND DID–keep it perfectly in thought, word and deed.  Because of the cross, His righteousness is credited to us as our own when we accept Him as Savior.  He fulfilled it.  We benefit!

The Arrogance Of The Pharisees. 

Just to show you how arrogant these hypocrites could be, in Luke 13 some Pharisees–well, it was probably the Pharisees, though it isn’t specified–told Jesus that Pilate had mingled the blood of some Galileans with their own sacrifices.  They were more than hinting that maybe those who were slaughtered must be “greater sinners” because of the kind of death they died.  

Back then, you see, most Jewish people despised the Samaritans and went out of their way to avoid contact with them.  They were considered uneducated in Holy Writ, had either “mixed (Gentile) blood” or were just plain Gentiles and therefore suspect. In fact, if Jews from Jerusalem had to travel to the Galilee region, they gave Samaria a wide berth.  Check the map below.

Lk. 13:2″…..Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent *{metanoia} you will all **LIKEWISE PERISH….

Then Jesus reminded them of the incident in Jerusalem where 18 people were killed when a tower fell on them:

“…….. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloám fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent *{metanoia} you will all **LIKEWISE PERISH.” {Note this for later: *METANOIA- Change your mind; believe that I, Jesus, came to save you.)

…and, in fact, the ones who did not “metanoia,” did indeed **LIKEWISE PERISH**when Tiberius Caesar destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. There was left not one stone upon another.  Many were crushed underneath those very stones.

The famous Jewish historian, Josephus, records, interestingly enough, that NOT ONE CHRISTIAN DIED.  They listened to Jesus and heeded his warning, recorded in Luke 21:20-22. All believers in Y’Shua fled to Petra!

The Parable Of The Vineyard.

Then Jesus proceeded to tell them the following parable of the vineyard with the barren fig tree.
6 “He(Jesus) also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’

This “certain man” is The Father. God, The Father, has a vineyard; and the “keeper” is Jesus.  What are vineyards full of? Grapes which are meant for blessing. Wine typifies God’s love and our drinking of it as being intoxicated with His love. His vineyard, a type of the Church, somehow has a fig tree planted in the middle of it. The word in the Greek for planted is in the passive voice, meaning He didn’t plant it; someone else did by stealth. No one knows who. (But I’ll bet we can guess. 🤨)

The first time figs are mentioned in the Bible, Adam and Eve are sewing fig leaves together to cover their nakedness, a portrayal of righteousness by works:  Self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit is painting a picture of the LAW COMING INTO THE CHURCH BY THE SIDE, BY STEALTH and getting mixed up with grace:  MIXTURE.

You see, God never meant for us to live according to our righteousness which is nothing more than filthy rags or soiled sanitary napkins in today’s jargon.  (YUK!)

Jesus Came Seeking Fruit.

Jesus came to His own people seeking fruit on the fig tree, Israel.  He looked and looked for three years and wanted to let it alone for one more year. He would dig around it and fertilize it by dumping the dung of righteousness by works on it, hoping it would finally bear fruit. If, after all that, there was still no fruit, it would be cut down.  Sadly, it did not produce any fruit at all.  There weren’t enough people willing to let go of their self-righteous works to be used as dung for the tree.

It’s the same deal today.  Our pastors need to turn from self-righteousness, teach their people the truth about their righteousness in Christ APART FROM WORKS and give up this introspection, our filthy-rags righteousness as Paul calls it.

Put away your dressing room mirror and look at Jesus.  It’s the only way true transformation occurs.

We are transformed by beholding JESUS’ GLORY….. not our gory; and we all are equally in need of a Savior because there are no degrees of dead. We all equally need Jesus, our Siloám, The Sent One. 

You may follow the link below to part 3 to continue this series:

4 thoughts on “Siloám Part 2: The Sent One

  1. Hi, I cannot locate the one which talks about “when Jesus died many were raised with him” (Matthew 27:52-53). My question is, were those raised in Matthew 27:52-53 Old testament saints? I thought that the Old Testament saints will be raised after the tribulation (Daniel 12:2).


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