Did God blind a man just to teach a lesson?

John 9:2-3 2 NASB 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.  

John 9:2-3 tells us Jesus’ disciples asked him who’s sin caused a man to be blind, his or his parents.  They were convinced that sin from one or the other caused the blindness.  Jesus said neither, but the man’s blindness, “was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Does this mean that God blinded the man at birth so that years later Jesus could work a miracle? How would this be fair? I propose that this encounter may not be as it seems if a reader does a fast reading with a Western mindset.

Children who are born blind suffer as a result of a world that became corrupt because of sin; something that happened before their birth or their parent’s birth. Sin corrupted the world before either one arrived on Earth. The apostles didn’t ask if the child’s blindness was caused by sin.  They asked if the cause was his or his parent’s sin. Jesus spoke directly to their question; that is, if it was his or his parent’s sin that cause the blindness. But then he went a little further. He told them a purpose the man’s blindness served: So that God might be displayed in him.  Does this mean God blinded the man at birth so Jesus could work a miracle?  That is one way this sentence could be understood. But if I look at this without a Western cause-and-effect mindset, it could also be understood that Jesus answered their question and went on to answer a more important question than the one they asked.  They seemed to be more interested in knowing why the man was blind rather than helping him.  But as for Jesus, he told them what good could come out of this, then he healed the man. I am not saying my understanding of these verses are Gospel.  I am not a prophet, and I might be wrong. God may have allowed this man to be blind so that good could be worked through his healing. He may have given a purpose to this man’s blindness before he was born.  All we can do is speculate. But no matter why he was blind, is this fair?   

Life is very short, and it not fair. The Bible never claims that life is fair. But this life is not our destination. Life certainly was not fair to the blind man who did nothing to cause his own blindness. Life was also very unfair to Jesus who did nothing to deserve a life of persecution and death by crucifixion. The Bible’s message is not fairness in this life, it’s Salvation for eternity.  And salvation is not a matter of fairness; it’s a matter of Grace and open to all who will accept it.

What are your thoughts?

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