Watch Now as contributor, Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff cherishes the memory of his good friend Donnie Myers, Sr—his “brother from another mother.” Hank is in the Gospel of John and reflects on the narrative concerning the man born blind (John 9).
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
1. ‘And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth’. Being full of love for us and caring for our salvation, and desiring to stop the mouths of the ungrateful, He overlooks nothing that is His to do, even if there’s no-one to pay attention. The Prophet knew this when he said: ‘that you might be justified in your words and prevail when you are judged’. So here, too, when they wouldn’t accept the sublime meaning of His words, but said that He had a devil, and attempted to kill Him, He left the Temple and healed a blind man, placating their anger by His absence, and, through the miracle, softening their hardness and cruelty, making them believers in His words. And He performed a sign which was not adventitious, but one which took place then for the first time: ‘never since the world began has it been heard that someone opened the eyes of a person born blind’. Someone may, perhaps, have opened the eyes of a blind person, but not of anyone blind from birth. And that He fully intended to do this when He left the Temple is clear from the following: it was He who saw the blind man, not the blind man who came to Him. And He looked at him so pointedly that His disciples noticed. And they came to question Him, because when they saw Him regarding the man so earnestly, they asked Him, ‘Who sinned, this man, or his parents?’ Wrong question. How could he sin before he was born? And why, if his parents had sinned, would he have been punished? Why, then, did they put this question? Before, when He healed the paralytic, He said, ‘Look, you’ve been made well, sin no more’. Now they understood this to mean that he was paralyzed through sins and said, ‘Well, that man was paralyzed because of his sins; but what would you say about this one? Has he sinned? You can’t say that, since he’s been blind from birth. Did his parents sin? You can’t say that either, because a child doesn’t suffer punishment for its father’. Just as, when we see a child that’s been badly treated, we might say, ‘What can you say? What’s the child done?’ It’s not so much a question as bafflement. The same is true of the disciples here: they weren’t asking for information, but rather they were perplexed. What then does Christ say? Read more about Saint John Chrysostom: Blind Man
Illness is not to be assumed to be indicative of sin in a person’s life. God has a purpose in suffering, and you can be certain that in Christ no matter what suffering you experience, God’s grace will be sufficient.
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