The Man Born Blind
by Meray Mansour
TEXT: John 9:1-41
Let’s set the scene for this week. There was a man, not important enough for people to call him by his name. He was well known to his community…but only as a blind beggar. Clearly, this nameless man imagined his life to begin and end on streets relying on other to support himself, with no hope of anyone giving him a second glance. – let alone Jesus! His world was naturally dark and because of his drawbacks he had nothing of value to offer society. This man, in the eyes of the world, was hopeless, worthless and purposeless.
So why would Jesus choose him? Why would He choose the person least likely to spread the word of God and most likely to become ostracised from the community?
The disciples automatically assumed that it was sin that led the man to this fate. Whether it be his parents or him that sinned, they didn’t know. But, they were convinced that God was punishing someone by making this man blind. On the other hand, Jesus rejects that idea and clearly says to them “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3).
This answer could have been so much broader, it could have lasted for another few chapters. If anything, it seems like a missed opportunity to answer the undying question why does God let bad things happen to good people?
Why do children get caught in wars? Why does cancer exist? Why can’t God cure illnesses? Why, why, why? Jesus could have put an end to all these questions and saved us from having to say the cliched line: well…God works in mysterious way. But He didn’t.
Instead whenever we fall into temptation or encounter misfortune we are so quick to lay blame on others, circumstances or even blame God Himself and become angered by how our lives have unfolded. Then we pray and pray and it seems like God isn’t there anymore.
However, in that one sentence Jesus said something more powerful than 5 chapters could. He gave us the answer to the question. Why does God let bad things happen?
The answer is… it doesn’t matter. Don’t focus on why but rather wait for the work of God to be revealed in that situation. Sometimes that’s the only answer you actually need.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6)
Sometimes what we need is an unquestioning loyalty to Christ. With understanding and faith we can rest assured that whatever situation we find our self in is exactly where we are meant to be as long as we follow Jesus.
Take the man born blind for example. His whole life sitting on the streets begging has been leading up to that one moment when he encounters the Saviour. Surely, that seems like a life wasted in comparison to someone without a visual impairment. However, Jesus makes that exact comparison.
“I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see and those who see may be made blind” (John 9:39)
When the Pharisees encountered this man, they interrogated him about how he gained his sight. The man gives them an accurate delivery of his experience. Nevertheless, they weren’t pleased by his response. How could someone be greater than them? So, they brought in his parents. Again, they weren’t satisfied so brought him back for further questioning.
Although, they could physically see, the Pharisees were made blind by their own pride and arrogance. So again, I ask is it a life wasted, begging on that street?
A life waiting for Christ is never wasted.
“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36)
For this fasting period think about what stresses you’re faced with. Think about all those problems that our out of your hand.
Now take a moment and give each one of them to God and wait for Him to restore your sight.