A stained glass window with an image of Jesus

Who sinned that this man was born blind?

Who sinned that this man was born blind?

Jesus and his disciples walked past a blind man.  The disciples asked if he was blind because his parents were punished for their sins. Maybe, he sinned before he was born and received the consequences of his own evil. (John 9)

Jesus responded that this man’s blindness was not the result of his or his parents’ sin but to reveal the power of God. Jesus, as Messiah, would demonstrate the power of God when He healed this man. That was the purpose of his blindness.

Job’s friends

Job’s friends also assured Job that evil comes to people as God’s response to their sin.

Job protested his innocence. The book of Job never tells us that Job ever found out about the meetings in heaven between God and the Adversary. Job’s suffering was part of a bigger plan. Satan contended  that blessed people serve God out of a mercenary spirit not out of love or obedience to their Creator. Satan was wrong. God denounced the vengeful theologies of Job’s friends.  Job emerged from his suffering as blessed and vindicated.

The blind man was healed and told others about Jesus

The blind man was healed and told others about Jesus. He received a personal invitation to follow Jesus and became a disciple of the truth. His suffering was part of a plan that neither he nor his parents nor the religious leaders nor anyone else would have seen as he grew and begged from childhood to adulthood.

Theologies that always equate suffering to divine retribution are sub-Christian.

There are consequences for personal sin but that is not the lesson from the lives of Job and the blind man who was healed.

Jesus sought to move His hearers from physical blindness to spiritual blindness and the need for His light. The blind man received eyesight and then spiritual sight as well. The Pharisees never got further then where the disciples started. For them, the man was blind from birth because of sin (9:34). They overheard Jesus at the end and they remained confident and spiritual blind.

The blind man could see and had true spiritual sight as well.

What have you looked down on  someone because they were unsuccessful?

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