Summary: “We live in a world where people look down on those who have any form of disability, but let us realize the greater disability is when we are not able to see ourselves for who we are and are unable to recognize God for who He is” Check out this message to learn more.
(Based on John Chapter 9)
“We live in a world where people look down on those who have any form of disability, but let us realize the greater disability is when we are not able to see ourselves for who we are and are unable to recognize God for who He is”
Often when we meet or pass by someone who has any sort of disability, how do we react to that person? Do we overlook them, look at them curiously, feel a tinge of pity, wonder what caused their disability or do we go out of our way to be loving to them? Sadly, in many cultures of the world, there is a wide-spread belief that disability is a consequence of sin, or the result of some curse on the family, or the individual. There are also those who go so far as to think that the differently-abled were not even created by God.
John Chapter 9 will, I believe, open our eyes to see things from a different perspective, and help us understand the heart of God towards those struggling with disabilities, and in the process have a better understanding of where we stand before Him.
The Strange Question
As Jesus and his disciples passed by, they noticed a man who was blind from birth. This was the question of the disciples to Jesus as recorded in John 9:2, “And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (NKJV)
This question was a strange one for two reasons. Firstly, if as the disciples had assumed that this man’s parents had committed sin that deserved the birth of a blind boy, they failed to realize that the word of God in no uncertain term declares in Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” (NKJV). If one were to go with this assumption of the disciples that disability was the consequence of sin, then based on the above verse, every person should be born with some sort of disability, since everyone has sinned.
Secondly, here was a man who was born blind. There was no way a baby could have sinned in his mother’s womb so as to be born with some sort of disability.
Therefore, on both counts, this was completely illogical, but sadly this was the understanding that prevailed then and does so even today. Every baby that is conceived and born into this world is part of God’s divine plan, and only when we understand that, will we value them, irrespective of what their abilities or disabilities are.
When Moses had this amazing encounter with God at the burning bush and was called by God to deliver the people of Israel from Pharaoh’s cruel hands, he tried to excuse stating that he could not speak eloquently, as he was slow of speech and tongue. Read this response that God gave Moses as found in Exodus 4:11, “So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? (NKJV) The message of God to Moses was categorical that He was the Creator of all.
The Unexpected Answer
Here is Jesus’s astonishing answer to the disciples as found in John 9:3, “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. (ESV)
Jesus was clear-cut in his response, that the situation that the man found himself in was not the result of his sins or his parents’ sins, but was so that God’s mighty power might be manifested through him, and God’s name would be glorified thereby.
If there are any who are struggling to accept their own disabilities, or those of their children, the word of God comes to assure such people that God is in perfect control and He can do the impossible. Every child is God’s precious gift, created in His own image and most certainly for a special purpose.
A Unique Miracle
We read in John 9:6-7, “Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!” (ESV)
Here’s the amazing miracle that Jesus performed on the man. After Jesus spit on the ground and made mud with His saliva, He sent him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. When the man went in obedience and washed his eyes in the pool, his blindness vanished and he received his eyesight. This was a most astounding miracle, for never before had anyone ever seen or heard of a man born blind receiving his sight. This man received his miracle when he stepped out in faith believing that Jesus had the power to make him see.