For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind (John 9:39)
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? This is one of those fundamental questions we all have, and indeed why some skeptics have yet to place faith in Jesus. A simple, powerful doubt about God and the nature of the universe: “If God is good, why does suffering exist?”
It’s personal too. If you have ever gone through difficult trials, you might have uttered (or cried out!) the prayer, “Lord, help me to see the reason for this suffering.” It is certainly our first reaction to suffering. We want to know why.
At this point I would like to tell you the answer to that question. I’d like to say that God works all things out for good, to quote to you Romans 8:28, and tell you that if you just trust him with your life everything will be just peachy.
And Jesus doesn’t either, but he does say something else.
His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
So there we have it, as plain as day. It was not sin that caused this suffering. We don’t know what caused the suffering, but we do know that it was used to show God’s mercy, power, and goodness.
Did you notice his role in the story? The blind man utters no words (at least in this account in John 9) until after his healing. He doesn’t ask for help, nor does he, like many others who encounter Jesus, cry out for mercy or for forgiveness of sins. He also doesn’t even see Jesus. He only hears him. He simply goes and washes his eyes as Jesus told him. Then he (to apply the common Evangelical phrase) “shares his testimony” – the shortest, bestest, testimony ever:
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Let’s not complicate the gospel. Let’s share our stories of healing and how we put our trust in the one who heals.