Why Was The Man Born Blind?

People always want to know why things are the way they are. It’s a natural part of being human, to try to figure things out.

When it comes to sickness, disabilities, and other challenges, people want to know: Why is this happening? They ask things like: What did I do to deserve this? or Is God punishing me for something I did or something my parents did?

These are the same questions that the disciples asked Jesus when they encountered a man who was born blind. Hear the words from the gospel of John, chapter 9.

John 9:1-5 (HCSB)
1 As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples questioned Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. 4 We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus’ disciples had the same point of view that most people do today. It’s a question of cause. They were asking, “What caused this man’s blindness?” The most important thing to them was the cause of the disability, because they thought that if they could determine the cause, then they could surely avoid that type of behavior, sinfulness, or thinking. And they would warn others to avoid it as well. Knowing the cause is a good thing, but it’s not the most important thing to know. 

Notice that Jesus doesn’t focus on the cause. He focuses on the purpose. Jesus points out that the most important thing to focus on is this question, “What is God going to do through this disability?”

John 9:3 (HCSB)
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.

Jesus gives the answer. The reason for the blindness, Jesus says, is so that the work of God might be displayed in this man’s life.

Think of the difference between these two questions:
  • What is the cause?
  • What is the purpose?

Both questions answer the question of “why” something happened. But they are vastly different questions. Cause describes what factors led to the circumstance. Purpose describes the reason for the circumstance. And God has a purpose for all things.

And that’s the answer to everything that happens to Christians. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you can claim the promise of Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

Yes, there are a variety of causes for everything that happens in life. We should learn from them. Yet the most important thing to consider is the purpose. When you consider the events of life, look deeply and see clearly that God wants to work in and through your life to do some amazing things. Ask yourself, “What is God’s purpose in this?” Seek Him!

God wants to use your life to show you and others just how amazing He is, and that you should put your trust in Jesus Christ, our Healer and our Savior. When you put your trust in Jesus, you can spiritually see!

How have you seen God’s purposes at work in your life?

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2 thoughts on “Why Was The Man Born Blind?

  1. I think we could have more peace if we do like you say and focus on the purpose of circumstances, rather than the cause. Thank you for writing this. It makes much sense to me.

  2. Romans 8:28 is my life’s verse. God’s perfect timing is the key to understanding. He works on His time table not ours. As we trust and obey (the theme of all the books of the Bible) we begin to get a glimpse of how God works in our lives. As difficult as it seems to be, we must lead a surrendered life and keep the Lord as our first priority. We can ask Him why, but as in Job’s case, He doesn’t have to explain.

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