That the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” 6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. 8 Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9 Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” 10 So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight,19 and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28 They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
Today’s text begins saying: As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” It is important that we understand that sickness and infirmity, whether it afflicts us or someone else, is not God’s judgment against sin. It is as Jesus says, an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed. Many today preach a gospel only of God’s grace. It is difficult then for them to understand that difficulties can exist under God’s grace. What results then is that in some way, it puts the responsibility for the lack of results back on people. If sickness is not because of sin and it is God’s will that people would be healed and whole, then it must be us. It must be perhaps that there is no healing because of a lack of faith. Of course if as in today’s text, a person is miraculously healed, it is easy to understand it as the works of God. Even though, as in today’s text, there will be those who doubt and question if God’s power is truly responsible. Even if there is no healing though, God can still display His works in a person who is afflicted. God can comfort and sustain them in their affliction. As with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, God may say: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” That some are not healed does not mean that God can’t. We simply cannot fully understand God’s infinite and eternal plan outside of our finite time and place. It may be that God’s sufficient grace is displayed to others as a person endures in joy and peace. In John 14:27 Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” In John 16:33 He says: “I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” One of the greatest and most powerful testimonies of Christ to a world and people in turmoil, is the peace and good cheer of those who trust in Him. Romans 8:28-29 says: We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Perhaps the greatest display of God’s work in our lives is that we become like Christ; that the circumstances and situations we face in the world become less important as we become more in tune and aligned with the kingdom of heaven.
In John 3:16-17 Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” Yet in today’s text He says: “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” These two statements seem to be at odds and contradict one another. But, in John 3:18-19 Jesus continues saying: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” If you have ever been in a room with no light at all; a place that is completely dark, you know what it is like to be blind. People are blinded by darkness. This is true both physically and spiritually. The solution to the blindness of that dark room is to turn on a light. The solution to the spiritual blindness of the world is to believe in and come to the light of Christ. Jesus didn’t come to judge the world, He came as light that people might see and be saved. Unlike the sufficient grace of God to comfort and sustain those who believe and are afflicted, the is no comfort; no cure for the blindness of those who love and choose darkness over light. Today’s text ends saying: Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” On the cross, in Luke 23:34 Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” There is forgiveness through grace for those who are unaware of their sin. But like the Pharisees, to those who say they see clearly yet choose darkness over light and evil over good, Jesus says: “your sin remains.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for Your sufficient grace. Your grace is sufficent to save from sin. It is sufficient to heal affliction and it is sufficient to sustain and give peace in tribulation. In truth the only thing that grace cannot overcome in our lives, is the choice not to abide in it. There is no cure for those who choose darkness. Because I believe then, may I live as Jesus commanded saying in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Amen