Who sinned?

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7

That a man was born blind was a problem for the disciples, they could not understand how he could have sinned before he was born to deserve being blind. If not the man then it must have been his parents who sinned and thus caused the man to be born blind. I think what the disciples went through here was reasonable. We all want to find a reason for some tragedy. A baby is born with Downs’s syndrome and we wonder what we did to cause it. Someone opens fire on a crowd in a theater and we wonder what caused it, who did something wrong that allowed it to happen.  We want answers, someone is to blame and we want to know who.

The problem is we live in a fallen world and bad things are going to happen. Sometime they will happen to good people. Sometimes there is really no one to blame. But no matter what the tragedy, God’s glory can be seen. The blind man in today’s verses showed the power of God to heal. It also showed that Jesus was sent from God. God’s glory was revealed in this healing. A child with Down’s syndrome and in it I see God’s love coming through the parents and siblings. Terrible shootings and I see God comfort the friends and families of the victims. We see God’s love pour forth from the communities.

As Christians we can send a message to unbelievers that God is there to comfort the hurting and heal the sick and injured. We can show God’s love in our actions and our words. When I saw one of my sister-in-laws die a month after giving birth to a son, I could not see how any good could come from such a tragedy. Then I saw the people in the church rally around my brother and our family. I saw God’s love pour out through these people and I wanted to reconnect with that love.

God used that tragedy to reopen my eyes to what being in a church family was all about. Sure I could worship God on my own but I could not comfort myself. God used that death to start me back on the road to Him and to the church. God did not cause the tragedy; in fact He does not cause any of the evils we see in the world, we do that job on our own. God gets us through these terrible times. He is there for us to lean on and even carry us when we can’t go farther.

Who sinned to cause the man to be born blind, no one? God used the blindness of one man to open the eyes of many men and women. When our eyes are opened we see the glory of God shinning through and we see the way to salvation.

Have a blessed day,



About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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