The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

John 9:3 | Faith sayings, Knowing god, God heals

As Jesus and His disciples were walking on a road, they saw and blind man and asked Jesus why he was blind. John 9:“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”[1]

The culture of the time assumed that if something bad happened, it was because the person sinned. Even today we know that there are times that injury comes because of bad choices. Innocent people are injured because someone decided to drive while under the influence. Or poor parenting choices may traumatize children. But there are also times when we can’t point a finger as to why. Sometimes tragedy happens just because our world is sinful.

Why is there suffering?

As humans we want solid reasons for suffering. Unfortunately, our world isn’t quite that simplistic. John 9:3“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.[2]

The translations of verses 3 & 4 seem to imply that God purposely made the man blind so that Jesus would be able to work a miracle. This sounds cruel. Early Greek manuscripts had no punctuation. An alternative translation could read: “‘Jesus replied, “Neither this man sinned nor his parents. But so that the works of God may be revealed in him it is necessary for us to work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day.”[3]

He was Blind to show God’s Power

I believe that God was using a tragedy of our sinful world to show His power. It was time for Jesus to use this man’s blindness to work a miracle as He walked along.

Not only would the man now begin to see and as a result have a productive life, the guilt cloud hanging over the whole family would be lifted. Remember, society would have considered them guilty for the tragedy of the man’s blindness.

But even the miracle of sight was not a simplistic solution for the situation. The Pharisees had created extra rules around God’s commandments. Jesus had broken these rules by healing the man. These Pharisees questioned both the man and his parents because they didn’t like answers they were getting. Finally, the man, perhaps with a bit of sarcasm replied, John 9: 27 “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” This enraged the Pharisees and they kicked him out of the synagogue.

He Was Blind, but Jesus Still Ruled

We only need to look around and realize we live in a fallen world of sin, disease, and suffering. We may not have ready answers for why suffering happens on this earth. We know at times suffering may be the consequence of sinful decisions by us or others, but there will be times we don’t understand why. No matter which, we can be assured that Jesus is still on the throne and working. John 5: 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” [4]

To hear more about the healing of the blind man, listen here:

[1,2,4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[3] Kruse, C. G. (2003). John: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4, p. 219). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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