Jesus Christ says our suffering is a special way to glorify God. He heals a man who was born blind. He says the legalistic Pharisees are spiritually blind.
VERSE 1. As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
VERSE 2. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
who sinned. There are four theories about why people suffer. Even though these theories are not completely correct, they are very common. Even among Christians. Here they are:
Theory 1. People suffer because God is punishing their sins. That’s what Job was told by his friends. He was suffering; therefore he must have sinned.
Theory 2. People suffer because they are cursed. Ancient people felt that the sins of one’s forefathers would mess up the whole bloodline for several generations.
Theory 3. People suffer because they want to suffer. The Law of Attraction says if something is in your life, it is there because you attracted it to yourself.
Theory 4. People suffer because suffering is inevitable.
VERSE 3. Jesus answered, “This man didn’t sin, nor did his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.
This man didn’t sin. Suffering is not a punishment. Suffering is not a curse. We do not “attract” suffering into our lives. And suffering is not inevitable.
that the works of God might be revealed. Jesus Christ’s answer is completely different from what our natural human reasoning can come up with. Our suffering is a way to glorify God!
in him. Suffering is a dreadful thing. Truly. So how can possibly it glorify God?
- Perhaps suffering sets the stage for God to do a great miracle in your life.
- Perhaps through your suffering, God will hold you up as a great role model of hope.
- Perhaps in the midst of your own suffering, your life will become a beautiful message about the love of God.
- Perhaps as a believer, your suffering will merge with the sufferings of Christ, as Paul wrote:
Colossians 1:24. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly;
We pray that you never suffer. But if you do suffer, you are not being punished. Your life is not cursed. You did not attract it into your life. And it is not inevitable. Rather, in the midst of your suffering, you can and will glorify God.
VERSE 4. I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.
I must work the works of him who sent me. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
VERSE 5. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
VERSE 6. When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man’s eyes with the mud,
VERSE 7. and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.
VERSE 8. The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Isn’t this he who sat and begged?”
VERSE 9. Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “I am he.”
VERSE 10. They therefore were asking him, “How were your eyes opened?”
VERSE 11. He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I received sight.”
VERSE 12. Then they asked him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.”
VERSE 13. They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees.
VERSE 14. It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.
VERSE 15. Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see.”
VERSE 16. Some therefore of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was division among them.
he doesn’t keep the Sabbath. How did the Pharisees evaluate the authenticity of Jesus Christ? They made their decision based on their own political views.
They wanted a Messiah that would conform to their standards and do their bidding. They did not want a Messiah that challenged them with God’s truth.
VERSE 17. Therefore they asked the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
VERSE 18. The Jews therefore didn’t believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight,
VERSE 19. and asked them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
VERSE 20. His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
VERSE 21. but how he now sees, we don’t know; or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.”
VERSE 22. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
VERSE 23. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”
VERSE 24. So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”
VERSE 25. He therefore answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
I don’t know if he is a sinner. The (formerly) blind man freely admitted when he did not know something.
In our own lives, when we speak about Jesus Christ, it is fine to say that we do not know this or that. It is the right thing to do.
One thing I do know. The (formerly) blind man was able to speak boldly about Jesus Christ. But he only spoke about what he knew.
In our own lives, when we speak about Jesus Christ, we can be BOLD about what we are sure of.
VERSE 26. They said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
VERSE 27. He answered them, “I told you already, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t also want to become his disciples, do you?”
You are his disciple. It is a privilege to be called a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
we are disciples of Moses. The religious leaders were hardly disciples of Moses. Mostly they were using their position of power to exert their own will onto other people.
VERSE 29. We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.”
VERSE 30. The man answered them, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
VERSE 31. We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God, and does his will, he listens to him.
VERSE 32. Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind.
VERSE 33. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
VERSE 34. They answered him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” Then they threw him out.
VERSE 35. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
Do you believe in the Son of God? Jesus could have asked any number of questions. However, he only asked one question. It was whether the man believed in Jesus or not.
That is the key question to ask people.
VERSE 36. He answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?”
VERSE 37. Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you.”
he worshiped him. Some people say that Jesus never thought of himself as divine. However, this incident gives us a different answer.
The man worships Jesus. And Jesus does not prevent him from doing so.
If Jesus thought he was not divine, he would have stopped the man from worshipping him. Otherwise, he would have been cooperating in idolatry.
VERSE 39. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”
I came into this world for judgment. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
VERSE 40. Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”
VERSE 41. Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.