John 9: The Question

April 11, 2011
(There are a lot of reasons I have this blog, but one of the main reasons is that it is an opportunity to improve my writing skills. I try to use a variety of different styles and topics and formats. I’ve not done a series blog yet. I decided to use one of my very favorite passages of Scripture and create a four part post about it. As always, thanks for reading.)

This is the first of a four part post on John 9.

John 9:1-7

The disciples are walking with Jesus. The blind man is minding his own business. All of a sudden the disciples
turn the blind man into a group object lesson.

“Hey, Jesus. Here’s a blind guy! Did his parents sin or did he sin?”

It’s so interesting to me that this is the question. It really causes me to have a lot more questions:

1. He was born blind, right? So how could it be because of his sin? Because of the sin that God knew would be in his life? That makes my head hurt.
2. It’s completely not fair that he would be punished for his parents’ sins, right? (I know, it’s a cultural belief. I’m just sayin’.)
3. How do the disciples know anything about him in the first place? Where do they get off using him as an example?
4. What are they trying to prove? What’s the point of their whole discussion?

Of course, it’s a cultural question. The common belief is that bad things happen to bad people. You are blind? It must be someone’s punishment! Jesus’ response is counter-cultural: No one is being punished. “He was born blind so God’s works could be revealed in him.”

This is quite possibly my very least favorite answer given by Jesus anywhere in Scripture.

What? This man has spent his entire life without his sight to give God glory?

Just like I wrestled with Soren Kierkegaard about the justness of God “using” Isaac and creating intense agony in Father Abraham’s heart in Genesis 22, I wrestle with this. It just doesn’t seem fair. This man has spent his whole blind just so that Jesus could heal him today?

One of the things I decided early in my walk with Christ was that I trust God to always be just. I don’t have to understand God’s ways, I don’t have to always have an answer for what’s happening, but I can always trust that whatever God is doing is right.

Are there situations or conditions in my life, in the lives of people I love that exist so that God can be glorified? I don’t know, but I think so.

“…Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:7-10

Could it be that sometimes, God is glorified when we are weak? Yes.

Could it be that God can take a “bad” situation and do something amazing? Yes.

Have I seen this in my life? For sure. I have had dark moments, struggled with hard scenarios and lived with all kinds of pain–and I look back at them now and I can see clearly how God moved and redeemed.

For now, this man is the subject of discussion. In a moment, his life will be changed forever.

Wednesday: “John 9: The Miracle.”

One response to John 9: The Question

  1. I sometimes have wondered if God allows hardships in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and on the flip side of that if we had been walking as close to God as we should we this bad thing still have happened. When we are suffering we hit our knees and pray desperately. Do we pray as ferverently when times are good?