Day 11

He Heals the Blind

from the John reading plan

John 9:1-41, Genesis 2:7, Romans 1:18-20

There is a lot of drama in John surrounding the man born blind, not the least which is his being healed of his blindness, a condition he’d had since birth.

Why did God allow his blindness? Jesus’ disciples figured this man was blind for one of two reasons: either it was because he had sinned or because his parents had. Had they known he was born this way, they would have been certain his parents’ sin was behind his inability to see. Regardless, they were confident someone’s sin had caused it.

Now, we shouldn’t be too rough on these guys. It sounds superstitious and hackneyed for them to say such a thing so bluntly, but if we are honest, they’re only saying out loud what we often think and feel.

When our middle child was born, everything seemed fine. But when we got home we realized something was wrong. He would stop breathing whenever he would fall asleep. His lips would turn blue. We were honestly freaking out. Within a couple days, we were two hours from home at the Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. No one was sure what was going on. We had not slept in days. We were tired, scared, and confused.

Being on staff at a great church meant that people cared for our family in ways we will never forget. But being on staff at a great church did not stop me from asking if I had done something that had caused this. I wondered which sin of mine my son was now paying for.

Thanks be to God, he has been our healthiest child ever since. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what caused his trouble. I could attribute my questioning to sleep deprivation or the pressure of having a newborn son who couldn’t breathe correctly, but the truth is, I question God like this all the time. Flat tire? I wonder why I’m being punished. Kid has stomach bug at 2am? What sin did I commit to deserve this? And on and on and on.

I think we are all spring-loaded to blame someone. We Christians tend to turn the blame around on ourselves. And because many of us have such a low view of God’s love for us and a high view of His disappointment with our behavior, we are tempted to believe suffering equals punishment for sin.

But Jesus turns all that on its head and makes it clear that the blind man’s sin is not the reason he was blind. And my sin is not the reason Knox had trouble breathing at two days old. The whole point of the blind man’s affliction was so the “works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). Jesus used the healing of the blind man to attest to the truthfulness of His claims.

For me and my wife, the “works of God” were trusting Him in emergency rooms and NICUs. It was trusting that the One who gave His only Son was letting us go through this so we would see His glory. We did, and we thank Him for it still.

What are you walking through? Where are you wondering if God is punishing someone else for your sin? The gospel tells us this in an impossibility. God will never lay the penalty of your sin or mine upon one of our sons, because He already laid it upon His own.

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (9)

9 thoughts on "He Heals the Blind"

  1. Forrest says:

    Being raised in the church, I was never taught and have never felt the causality referenced here – where one of my sins may cause someone else’s affliction. I see how all things can be glorified in all things good and difficult

  2. Justin Rigdon says:

    The part about turning the blame on ourselves because we minimize Gods love for us but maximize his disappointment in us really hit home today. I often question “why God”, when I am going through hardships, but rarely think, “because God” when I am in moments of triumph or success.

  3. Phil says:

    22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.

    Does anyone else ever get afraid of sharing Jesus to anyone else? Afraid they might get angry with you, or they might make fun of you, or they might become offended and not want to speak to you anymore?

    One thing I struggle with sometimes is being nervous or having anxiety about sharing the word of God to some people who do not agree or believe. Some times God gives me such strength and courage to do so; and other times I allow my own thoughts and fears to control me.

    For example, I shied away from openly praying for our meal in front of friends who do not “go to church” the other day because I was afraid I might make them feel awkward or offend them; I felt guilty immediately after because I knew that it could have been just one more little seed I could have planted in them.

    I will never back down from my beliefs or deny Christ to others to save my own skin, but I pray that God gives me the courage to not be nervous in openly sharing Him even when in seemingly uncomfortable times; and I pray that I am not doing it in a way that is forceful or overbearing but in a loving/caring way to slowly reach people right where they need it.

  4. Ken Fuller says:

    This was an odd devotional because I have never thought like this. Our first child was two or three months premature, weighing 2′ 14 oz. It was an awful experience to go through but we never thought either of us had brought it on through our own sin. We knew from the start this was a special gift from God and He would take care of her and us. I have so many stories of God’s blessings to this day from our experience and with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

  5. Brandon says:

    Nailed it. I wrestle with this over and over again. It is as if I just can’t quite grasp the magnitude of His love. Lord do you love me this much? That much? How Lord? How can this be TRUE. I don’t deserve favor. I deserve wrath. Yet, there is nothing that I know more surely and nothing in this world that I desire more. Let me grasp the magnitude of your love for me today Lord and thank you that for some crazy reason you have chosen me to love, for great significance in Christ and for purpose according to your will.

  6. Kevin says:

    God took my son in him, and doesn’t distribute that to others. Oh how thankful I am for that. The thought someone else would suffer because of my sin is terrifying. We all suffer in our own accord, but God took all of that on himself when he died for us. Thank you Jesus

  7. Ben says:

    The God of the New Covenant is not a vengeful God, as is at times portrayed in the Old Testament. God will not take out punishment on another because of our sins. Instead, I believe God is a teaching and nurturing God, who will use our sin to show us the error in our ways so that we may stay away in the future. To do that though we have to adopt the attitude of wanting to see these errors (human nature makes that hard) and a willingness to 1) learn from our own mistakes and 2) an open-heartedness to see what it is God wants to show us.

  8. Joshua says:

    Thankful to read this tonight. It makes me realise that I am indeed carrying around the unnecessary weight of sin.

    What really struck me was when the author wrote how we sometimes have a low view of god’s love for us, and a high view of our self disappointment.

    Thank you for these words. Through the gospel I find my armour.

  9. Nate widow says:

    I sin everyday, I feel shame and guilt. I try my best to repent but it’s a battle. This made me feel a sense of relief. God won’t punish my family or anyone else around me for my sins. I believe he is going to use me to show is truthfulness.

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