Summary: Gaining insights on how to have the positive outlook it takes to face problems effectively - based on Christ’s healing of the man born blind.
(CEV) As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, "Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?" 3 "No it wasn’t!" Jesus answered. "But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do what the one who sent me wants me to do. When night comes, no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6 After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground. He made some mud and smeared it on the man’s eyes. 7 Then he said, "Go and wash off the mud in Siloam Pool." The man went and washed in Siloam, which means, "One Who Is Sent." When he had washed off the mud, he could see.
We’re in the series on Jesus’ encouraging conversations that took place prior to each of the seven miracles recorded by John in his Good News account. We’re finding that the words of Christ provide great hope and help. We’re finding God’s Word is the great force behind the miracles he performs.
Whenever God speaks there is power and provision for our needs. When God speaks, great things happen!
For example God’s creative acts are often spoken.
Genesis 1:3 (KJV) And God said, "Let there be light": and there was light.
Light was precisely what the recipient of this miracle needed. He was born blind. He didn’t know what a rainbow or a flower looked like. He had never held his breath at the sight of a sunset. The face of his parents was a mystery to him. The world was colorless and formless. It’s really hard to imagine what that is actually like.
The good news is that when Christ’s path intersected his life there was an unprecedented change! He received the gift of sight and he later received the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus! The miracle not only met his physical need but more importantly it met his great spiritual need of a Savior!
From this miracle we gain several important insights that produce a positive outlook for facing big problems in life.
The first insight this story opens our eyes to is:
1. Look for blessing, not blame.
One of the greatest keys to winning in life is a good attitude. This biblical narrative contrasts the winning attitude of Jesus with the various examples of bad attitudes around him. The first attitude that needed correcting was that of the disciples.
Verse 2 (NLT) "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"
Sin does have consequences but problems aren’t always punishment. Jesus pointed out a better mindset than that which the disciples’ question portrayed. Instead of finger pointing when you face big problems, you have another option. Here’s how Jesus replied.
Verse 3 (Msg) "You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do."
Here you have specific instructions from the Lord Himself on what to do when you encounter a big problem - look for what God can do! See problems as opportunities for God to display his love and power.
It’s a shame that the disciples didn’t look at this man with a desire to help him in his trouble – instead they wanted to start a theological discussion. People don’t need a gabfest when they’re facing big problems. They need help. Who cares as much about why they’re hurting as the fact that they are hurting.
"If you were in a car accident and were bleeding to death in the Emergency Room, how would you feel if the doctor came in and wanted to talk about the Greek word for hospital or the history of the stethoscope? All he said to you could be true but irrelevant because it doesn’t stop your hurt. You would want the doctor to begin with your pain." (Pastors.com)
You don’t always have to have neat explanations as to why problems occur. Don’t waste your time in the blame game when you need to be more involved in working toward solutions. Don’t get caught up in the often-vain pursuit of answering the question "Why?" "Why did God let this happen?" "Why do good people suffer?" "Why do hurricanes hit our shores?" "Why this?" "Why that?"
When Jesus described his own ministry he showed us the value of looking for blessing and not blame. He quoted a prophecy from Isaiah chapter 61 and applied it to Himself.
Luke 4:18-19 (NCV) The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.