This is the first of a four part post on John 9.
The disciples are walking with Jesus. The blind man is minding his own business. All of a sudden the disciples
â€œHey, Jesus. Hereâ€™s a blind guy! Did his parents sin or did he sin?â€
Itâ€™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. Itâ€™s completely not fair that he would be punished for his parentsâ€™ sins, right? (I know, itâ€™s a cultural belief. Iâ€™m just sayinâ€™.)
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? Whatâ€™s the point of their whole discussion?
Of course, itâ€™s a cultural question. The common belief is that bad things happen to bad people. You are blind? It must be someoneâ€™s punishment! Jesusâ€™ response is counter-cultural: No one is being punished. â€œHe was born blind so Godâ€™s works could be revealed in him.â€
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 â€œusingâ€ Isaac and creating intense agony in Father Abrahamâ€™s heart in Genesis 22, I wrestle with this. It just doesnâ€™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 donâ€™t have to understand Godâ€™s ways, I donâ€™t have to always have an answer for whatâ€™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 donâ€™t know, but I think so.
â€œ…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, â€˜My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.â€™ 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.â€ 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 â€œbadâ€ 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: â€œJohn 9: The Miracle.â€