Yesterday, my roommates (and a visitor) had some fun.
Vicki has a friend, her name is Lindsey, and she’s just like Vicki. One of the first things they did when she came to visit was argue about what color Lindsey’s pants were. It got heated. Upon deciding that they were purple, they decided to dye a chunk of their hair purple. They did so and wanted to take pictures by the railroad tracks (because what else are you going to do with purple hair and purple pants?) This is the result of our fantastical whimsy.
“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 was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We mustwork the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.” -John 9:1-7
I read this story the other day and found it interesting the way everyone acted. Upon seeing the blind man, Jesus’ disciples, His main men, asked why this man was blind, assuming that it was a result of someone’s sin – whether his own or someone else’s. We know that all are sinners (Romans 3:23), so knowing this and knowing the logic of the disciples, everyone would have to have been born blind for this explanation to be sound. But here we are, most of the world born seeing, so we know that’s not true. But I digress. Jesus gives an intriguing answer to this inquisition, saying that it is not because someone sinned, but rather so that God would be glorified. After all, that’s what our lives are for – to glorify God. This man just had a much different opportunity to allow his life to glorify God. Most of us assume that whatever sufferings we face are because something else happened – we see it as a consequence – when we might be missing the idea that maybe it’s a so that. We may not suffer because we are sinners, but we may suffer so that God can be glorified in our escape from that suffering. Our circumstances are not, “because we did this,” but, “so God could do that.” This man was blind for the purpose of glorifying God in Jesus performing a miracle. Our suffering may be a mystery, but we can live through it with the hope that He will be glorified through it.