Article by Nirotu
John 9:2: "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Interestingly, I have been asked to explain this by many of my friends. The verse refers to Jesus’ healing of a blind man. Depending upon what religion one comes from, the explanation differs. I would like to paraphrase what Joseph Stowell (Moody Bible Institute) had to say.
Dr.Stowell goes on to say, "This reveals great deal about the character of man who makes such statement. It is interesting to note when you carefully note this and ask yourself this question: why is that when we hear about someone suffering, we are more interested in the details of why, when, where and how than are about how we can actually go and help that suffering soul!
Here the curiosity about why he was suffering outweighed the prospects of reaching out to help him. Their quizzing of Jesus regarding who sinned revealed that they were dreadfully out of step with their Master’s heart. In fact, lurking beneath their question was a judgmental spirit – a desire to know who to blame- as if that would make them feel any better!
Notice how Jesus reacts to such questions! He molded a compassionate response. Rather than speculation and condemnation, He marshaled His resources to help, which in this case meant complete healing, which He made clear in the next verse: John 9:3: ”Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (Joseph Stowell, Our Daily Bread).
What we fail to see here is the nature of compassion. WE are driven to be compassionate at times only because of our feelings. The compassion Jesus has for you or me doesn’t arise from your circumstances or from your feelings. Jesus’ compassion is the fruit of His character. Because of who He is, you can trust what He feels for you and me. His compassion is genuine because He is genuine. God doesn’t have compassion for us just because He has feelings for us. He has compassion on us because He is committed to us.
Upon further study of this and following verses, I was able to find the life transforming act by Jesus. The blindness (suffering) was intended to provide a moment for God to be magnified through Him. Jesus through His compassionate act could transform anyone’s life – physical or/and spiritual. In this man’s case He changed both. It was obvious to see his physical healing. On a spiritual level, you will read in subsequent verses of the same chapter how the blind man’s skepticism changes into one of a devotee.
What is interesting to note in this parable is that there was a gradual revelation of who Jesus is to this blind man. The faith that blind man had at the time of healing was no more struggling in its anchor, than a boat tossed up on choppy water without an anchor.
When we do not believe in the deity of Jesus, we all start by saying he is just a man – a good man just like this blind man said when questioned by the Pharisee right after he was healed.
John 9: 10: "Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?"
John 9:11: "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." (KJV. underline for my emphasis).
Notice the response of that blind man “A man that is called Jesus”. He was skeptic about who this Jesus really was.
When questioned the second time:
John 9:17: ”They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet."
Now he says, that Jesus is perhaps a prophet.
When asked by Jesus Himself in the temple, notice this blind man’s reply.
John 9:36: "He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? "
John 9:37: "And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee."
John 9:38: "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."
Do you see the transformation in that man? While it did not happen the instant he was healed, he was transformed by gradual building of his faith. It works the same way in every skeptic. The denial of Jesus and His works always seems to be the first and immediate response but when one keeps an open mind, I bet every thing will change with time!