18 May 2009

Who Sinned?

John 9:1-5 (NIV)
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.
2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

The thoughts here come from reflecting on some of the discussions from a course I'm attending on Wednesday nights, and brought once again home to me once again as part of my daily reading on Thursday morning (see WordLive ). It's interesting to read this passage after reading the book of Job last week.

When things go well, we're often very pleased with ourselves. ‘God is blessing me’, we might say. However, what about when things go horribly wrong? What have we done wrong? Interestingly, that's exactly what the disciples thought in the passage above. They assumed the man’s suffering was due to God’s judgement, but the Lord puts them right here. I know enough about disability from what I've learnt over the years from my own family members and from my working life not to make these sort of assumptions, however it's interesting to see what Jesus teaches us here.

You see, Jesus doesn't give out blame, he goes out of his way to give blessing - he takes the opportunity to make things better, not to make them worse by pointing fingers. There's something for all of us to remember when we review this from within the 'blame culture' that we see all around us.

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