Summary: God's Power, Our Weakness, Suffering, Thorns
John 9:1-12 (p. 747) June 8, 2014
The Macuma People of Southeast Columbia in South America were “animists.” “Animism” worships the Gazelle for its speed...the eagle for its vision, the lion for its power...and because of this the Macuma’s viewed individuals as worthless if there was a physical weakness that hindered them from being “strong.”
That is until the Word of God was brought to these people by Bob and Jan Smutherman, Wycliffe Bible translators, for 5 years they worked to translate John’s gospel, the chief’s son was engaged as the language helper...each portion of scripture had to be checked and rechecked for meaning and clarity...and then as it was being finalized for publication the chief’s son read it to the tribe, when he got to John chapter 9 and the verse concerning the man being born blind “in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
The chief stood up, raised his hand for silence and declared, “we must stop killing our babies!”
To a people, steeped in Animism, the normal procedure was to take any non-perfect baby to a desolate place, desert it, and expose it until dead. But God’s Word has a convicting way of revealing truth over the power of a lie.
The lie is only perfect, strong & beautiful people have value and can accomplish great things.
The truth, “That’s not the precedent God set throughout history. In the OT Israel was the weakest and smallest and the Lord said, “I am making a covenant with you...before all you people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord will do for you.” (Ex. 34:10)
It’s the power of God the nations will see, not the power of Israel.
Paul says God does the same thing with individuals under the covenant of grace.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:26-31 (p. 793)
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong...why? So no one will boast about their own power...but His power...
Broken people cannot repair themselves..we are restored through the power of Christ and this is one of the greatest truths:
I. OUR WEAKNESS ALLOWS GOD TO PROVE HIS POWER
When something bad happens in most people’s lives we think, “what did I do to deserve this?” God must be punishing me for something!”
But things happen to bad people, right? Well Job and Jesus will tell you that’s not exactly true!!!
Even Jesus’ closest followers thought like this:
As they travel they come across a man blind from birth...”His disciples ask Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (v.2)
Sickness and suffering were believed to be the result of sin, but this man was born blind so he put a crimp in this belief system...except maybe God is remembering the “sin” of his parents, or grandparents, or great grandparents and punishing them!
Jesus absolutely rejects the view that all suffering and pain is due to sin.