Summary: Purpose: We humans always look for a cause-and-effect. No surprise, because we are taught the "scientific method" in all of our schooling. But with God and His ways, things are different. The Lord arranges events that He might be glorified.
"Stop Playing the Blame Game"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: John 9:1-5
Purpose: We humans always look for a cause-and-effect. No surprise, because we are taught the "scientific method" in all of our schooling. But with God and His ways, things are different. The Lord arranges events that He might be glorified. The question is: will you glorify God in the events of your life?
I didn’t know this about people when I surrendered to the pastoral ministry, but I certainly soon found out: even Christian people have some unhealthy ideas about life! Oh, yes.
Oh, no, though. What misconceptions I had as a church-goer. I thought that everyone at church was full of knowledge about God, Christ, and the Bible; they were emotionally happy and stable; and spiritually, that they were all devoted "to the max" to Jesus’ mission. Further, I thought that I was the only one who didn’t quite fit. I was a new Christian and they were mature Christians. I was growing, but they had grown up. Only I had flaws.
Of course, the fact is that we all have all sorts of wrong ideas about life. Jesus knows this. And Jesus wants to help. Let’s let Him help us today.
Our Scripture is John 9:1-5.
WRONG IDEA ABOUT WHO JESUS IS
Remember the setting of this story. The JEWS
HAD THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT WHO JESUS IS. And
they had just heard Jesus say two statements
that made them really angry. Let’s see.
I Can Keep You From Death
Jesus had told the Jews in the temple:
Truly, truly, I say to you, if
anyone keeps My word he shall
never see death. (John 8:51)
To this statement, they accused Jesus of
being possessed by a demon. What a horrible
The Man of Truth was speaking to them,
and they could not rightly hear. They could
not understand that the Messiah would
ultimately keep them from the death of
eternal separation from God.
Hey, even you and I understand this
concept. Don’t we? Amen! But the religious
men of Jesus’ day had the wrong idea.
I Have Eternally Existed
The other statement was this:
Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly,
I say to you, before Abraham was
born, I am." (John 8:58)
With this statement, the Jews "picked up
stones to throw at Him." For Jesus to say,
"I AM," reminded the Jews of God’s statement
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I
AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall
say to the sons of Israel, ’I AM
has sent me to you.’" (Exodus
So Jesus was equating Himself with God.
You and I would say, "Uh, yeah. That’s
right. Jesus is Lord!" But those religious
men had it wrong.
WRONG IDEA ABOUT SIN AND SUFFERING
So, religious persons have gotten it wrong,
or at least have not understood, for a very
Seeing that they were about to hurt Him
with stones, Jesus went out of the temple. I
guess I would leave, too, if folks started
Possible Reasons for His Blindness
Outside of the temple, Jesus and His
disciples came upon a blind man. This man
had never had sight; blind from birth. For
the disciples--who were trying to be
theologians, who were trying to establish a
cause-and-effect for everything--they wanted
to establish just why that man had been
blind from birth.
In their day there were probably four
answers they would have given:
1. The pagans of that day, just as
today, believed in reincarnation.
And so, the situation of this life
was directed related to their
behavior in the past life. So, the
blind man must have sinned in his
past life they would say.
The Jews never did accept this
2. Then there was the argument of
heredity. The Lord had told Israel
that He would visit "the iniquity of
the fathers on the children, on the
third and the fourth generations of
those who hate Me," (cf. Exodus
This explanation had some Scriptural
merit. It could have been that the
blind man’s parents or grandparents
were very evil. It was worth
3. Third, there was the explanation
that the sin of Adam was passed to
each member of the human family. We
are subject to disease and death.
4. Finally, the Jews believed that a
child in the womb could sin.
This one is difficult for me to
conceive of (pun intended)!
Some Things Just Happen
The disciples were like we modern day
people, "inquiring minds want to know." But,
they had the wrong ideas. In their lifetimes
and in ours, some things just happen. Let me
say that again: IN YOUR LIFE, SOME THINGS
JUST HAPPEN, and it will be beyond you and