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,