Summary: In this story, we have the answers to some of life’s toughest questions. 1. Why does God permit suffering? 2. How can we trust Jesus more?
BELIEVING IS SEEING
Today I want to talk to you about the encounter Jesus had with a man who was born blind.
In this story, we have the answers to some of life’s toughest questions.
1. Why does God permit suffering?
2. How can we trust Jesus more?
Text: John 9:1 – 7
Like many people of that time, the disciples had evidently been taught, through their upbringing in Judaism, that human hurt is the result of human sin. Notice - Jesus didn’t deny this.
It is helpful for us to note that Jesus recognizes this can happen to some. However, this was not what happened to this man.
Jesus knew the disciples (and others) had many questions they needed answered. This is one of the reasons for coming to church – often.
We should remind ourselves of a few things:
1. We are not living in a world where we can always expect perfection.
2. God does not try to operate the world in such a way that everything works out beautifully.
3. As a result of sin, we are living in a fallen world.
4. It’s not God’s fault that bad things happen to people.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures declare that we are living in a broken world, a fragmented world, a world which is not what it once was.
Thank God! This world will soon become what God intended.
Jesus is coming back!
For the present time, we all suffer with hurts and injuries and difficulties and hardships. That is part of life today.
We can’t sit around and cry about these disappointments.
Life’s disappointments are all a direct result of the fall of man.
Many of us may think we have escaped having a disability because we were not born with the evidence of any debilitating handicaps.
But in fact we all have handicaps.
I would suggest that as far as our spiritual health is concerned, we all were born handicapped.
Sin is the worst disability you can have.
Jesus makes clear that suffering is not always a direct result of personal sin. And there are other times it is!
There are scriptures, throughout the Bible, that clearly indicate that people are hurting, suffering and physically depraved and deprived because of their own evil ways.
In the day of this passage of scripture there was a Jewish teaching that it was possible for a baby to sin while still in the womb of it’s mother.
(I believe we are “born” into sin…)
This may be what lies behind their question. But Jesus declares, "No, it is not that. It is not the parents’ sin."
As we well know today, babies are born with herpes or with AIDS because of their parents’ sins. But, in this particular story, Jesus specifically says it is not for that reason that the man in question was born blind.
Why, then, was he born blind?
Jesus said, "That the works of God might be made manifest in him,"
Jesus has given us a very positive reason for this kind of affliction.
This affliction of blindness was an opportunity, not a disaster. Certain things were to be accomplished.
Are there examples of this in our day?
Oftentimes those who are handicapped from birth -- frequently develop inner qualities of peace and joy and strength that otherwise normal people do not have.
The handicapped oftentimes show a tremendous strength of spirit that is able to face challenges, and endure difficulties that other people cannot.
Fanny Crosby wrote "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!"
Fanny was blind from her earliest babyhood as a result of an accident.
When she was only 8 years old she wrote this rhyme,
Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I can not see.
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t.
To weep and sigh
Because I’m blind,
I cannot and I won’t!
She lived to be 90, and she kept that beautiful, rejoicing spirit all her life.
The fact is this - God sometimes allows handicaps in order to awaken compassion in the hearts of others.
Jesus goes on to say in verse 4 that the day for healing had come to this blind man:
"I must work the works of him who sent me…”
It was in John 5 that Jesus said, "My Father is working still, and I am working,"
When Jesus "saw" what the Father did, he would do the same thing.
Likewise, when we see what Jesus did we should be doing the same thing.
Jesus was a man of purpose and resolve. He did what needed to be done. He didn’t sit around talking about what needed to be done.
He did it!
With the blind man, immediately Jesus felt a sense of urgency. Once again, Jesus stopped what He was doing and met the need.