As [Jesus] 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?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
Not The Only One Who Couldn’t See
“What did I do to deserve this?” is a phrase I find myself saying a lot. The car breaks down, the rent goes up, I get passed over for the position I deserve, and I find myself wondering why God is punishing me. I find myself saying something similar when it comes to the misfortune of others. When I see someone else struggling, I find it easy to believe that they have done something to deserve their struggles and I am being spared because I am not as bad as they are.
Jesus’ disciples had similar thoughts when they came upon a man blind from birth. They were certain someone had done something to deserve this punishment of blindness. The only question was whether it was this man or his parents who had committed a sin.
Jesus’ response to his disciples reveals a greater truth about suffering for the Christian: It is not about punishment for sin but about the work of God being revealed in us.
God’s promise is that the sufferings in this life are neither chaos nor punishment for those who believe in him. Instead, God is using all of these things to accomplish his good purposes for us. Sometimes God’s work is subtle, and sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it is easy to understand, and sometimes it is difficult to understand. All the time though it is God’s good work being displayed.
Jesus would do more than just restore the blind’s man sight; he would use this miracle to draw the man closer to himself. This wasn’t some punishment for sin but God’s work being on full display in his life. As we suffer in this life, the same is true for us. It is not God’s punishment to us, but he is working it all for our good and his glory.
Heavenly Father, assure me that as a believer the events of this life are not your punishment upon me, but rather your mercy working personally for me. Amen.
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