Today in God’s Word
Exodus 30; John 9
A Penetrating Question and an Astonishing Answer
In John 9, the disciples of Jesus ask Him a sincere question of why a man was born into suffering blindness from birth John 9:2. Their question arose out of the typical teaching of Judaism at that time which claimed that suffering resulted from some specific sin(s). This view is clearly refuted by the teaching of of the Bible (cf. Luke 13:2-3; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 4:13), but it continues today to be a hurdle to belief for many who struggle with the idea that God who can prevent or relieve suffering, but often does not.
The answer Jesus gave is both unexpected at first glance and even disturbing without thoughtful reflection. He explained that it was for the sake of Jesus name and the glory of God the Father (John 9:3-4). The implications of this are startling. This man was born blind from birth, and remained in this condition, for a divine encounter with the Son of God in His ongoing spiritual battle with the hardhearted religious leaders (John 9:13-34). It seems as if this poor man suffered a lifetime of blindness, to be a pawn in a high-stakes jockeying for control between the religious leaders and God Himself. Yet, so much more is in play here.
Whose Really Blind Here?
In reality the man was born blind from birth that he might one day–this day–see the true light (John 9:5). A lifetime of blindness seems small in contrast to an eternity in the light of God’s glory (Revelation 22:4-5). So, is it the blind man that is blind or the Jewish leaders? The man born blind from birth couldn’t see the sunshine, yet he saw very clearly following his encounter with Christ–not just physical eyesight but the evidence of God (John 9:30-34). The religious leaders, on the other hand, remained trapped in their rebellion toward God and in their spiritual blindness (John 9:39).
Lord, I Believe
How can we see the light of God and come into the light of his glory? Believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. In John 9:35-38 we watch this man’s confession come into reality. So, at that point the years of physical blindness must have faded into the realm of unimportant memories. Today, in eternity this unnamed man, from these pages of the New Testament, is in the very presence of Christ and sees Him as he is 1 John 3:2.
Soli Deo Gloria!