John 9:1 As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus and his disciples pass by a blind man. First, Jesus actually takes notice of him. Even the lowliest in society do not escape Jesus’ love. Second, Jesus knew that he was blind from birth. He knows every one of us. Then, the disciples ask the question, whose sin caused the blindness? Jesus answers that the blindness is neither from the man’s sins nor from his parent’s sin. He explained that the man was born blind so that one day Jesus could heal him and bring glory to God.
The age old question is why does God allow blindness and suffering in the world? Sometimes it does come from sin. Man has free will to turn from God and to sin. If someone murders me, my suffering is caused by his sin. My suffering could also be caused by my own sin. (John 5:14, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”) Also, the bible has numerous cases where the sins of the parents cause suffering for their children. (Ex 20:5, Deut 5:9) Here however, Jesus answers that this man’s suffering is not caused by sin but to show the glory of God. It makes me think, is my suffering going to ultimately be to bring glory to God? When I go thru tough times, I try to look at it not as punishment, but as a trial. God is testing me and giving me the opportunity to grow my faith. Faith is strengthened under adversity, not fair weather. When I am strong in faith, it pleases God. In this story, the man was blind and was healed by Jesus to show the glory of God. In my suffering, it is not as important what caused it as it is important what I do with it. Do I feel sorry for myself or do I persevere in faith in order to bring glory to God?
Father, thank you for the opportunity to grow closer to you and strengthen my faith. Keep me focused not on the speck in my brother’s eye, but on the plank in my own eye. It’s not for me to understand why someone else is sins or is suffering. Please help me to recognize when someone is suffering and help them somehow to bring glory to God. When I am facing trials, keep me thankful for the opportunity to strengthen my faith in you. Amen
– Don J