John: Blind

John 9:1-41

According to the other gospels, Jesus heals numerous blind people. Curiously, John only mentions this one. Why is that? John is quite selective and purposeful in the Jesus stories that he tells. So what is it about this one?

Sometimes I imagine the Bible as this big roundtable discussion about all the big issues of life. Moses is sitting there, and Paul, and Isaiah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Luke, and Peter, representatives of each book of the Bible. And this passage presents one of the classic big philosophy questions of life:

Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?

In other words, Why do bad things happen?

Why do tornadoes happen? Why do children suffer? Why innocents die in war? Why do people get cancer? If God is really in control, then why is there so much evil in the world?

As far as big questions go, this may be the biggest. So we give it to the table discussion. Job gets a crack at the question. We let David in the Psalms have a say. The suffering martyrs of John’s Revelation join in the conversation. Jesus on the cross certainly has the final word. And there’s this man born blind. I think he might have something to say about why bad things happen in the world.

From the disciples’ question, their basic assumption, as ours often is, is that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. That’s the way life works. But Jesus cuts the legs right out from under that way of seeing the world.

Perhaps what John is telling us in this Jesus story is that bad stuff simply is. The world is fallen. God’s creation is broken. There is no rhyme or reason to the wreckage. But Jesus is here to make all things new. Creation 2.0 is at work.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to John: Blind

  1. April Morley says:

    I really enjoyed this post! It is the ultimate question that people ask when bad things happen. You may be right that bad stuff simply is, and maybe the bad stuff is just an opportunity for the grace of God to show through! Thanks for your post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s