John 9:1-12

Read John 9:1-12
I often wonder what assumptions I have made in my life that I believe to be true, but they really are simply assumptions. There was a period of my life where I surrounded myself with only folks who acted and thought like me and I moved dangerously close to believing that I was right about everything, and I had life figured out. I presumed everyone shared my background, experiences and most importantly my thoughts. I was wrong.
In the culture of Jesus’ day, any disability (physical or mental) was attributed to sin. It was assumed that the parents had sinned in some grievous fashion and the malady was God’s judgement on that household. This was the cultural assumption of disciples when they experienced the healing of the blind man in our passage. To be honest, why wouldn’t they accept that to be true? It seems right? In every culture there is a moral code, and breaking that moral code requires a consequence handed down from humans or from deity, or from both. And as we read the Bible, we do see God punishing various people for their sins. Nebuchadnezzar spent time eating grass like a goat, David lost his son because of his affair with Bathsheba, and Abraham’s indecency with his wife’s handmaiden caused a rift between brothers that is still felt today in the middle east. Sin has consequences, real and legitimate.
Just because sin has consequences doesn’t mean that all hardships are a result of divine judgement. In Psalm 73, King David mentions his struggle with the fact that the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. Jesus’ response to His followers was not one of disgust but I can imagine my response might have been. Jesus just doesn’t react in that way; He simply and graciously corrects their assumption. The truth is that neither sinned specifically, not that they weren’t sinners, but the blindness wasn’t the result of a specific transgression. Rather, this was that the works of God might be seen through him.
What a shift in reality that is! It’s a shift that brings a bit of relief, right? We can know with certainty that not every bad thing that happens in our lives is because of a specific sin that we commit, rather that God’s work might be seen through us, in our response, in our attitude and in our character. What are you going through right now? How can you walk in the pain honestly and at the same time look for God’s work? Live in His grace and let your life reflect the works of God toward a watching world!
David Flug | Community Life Pastor

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