“‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.’” John 9:3 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered if something you did (or something someone did to you) was the reason God allowed you to experience suffering? Or maybe questioned if your past experiences or mistakes prevent you from living a life of purpose that glorifies God?
I entertained these thoughts for a long time, but years ago, my perspective changed as I read the passage where Jesus’ disciples were wrestling with these same questions.
Jesus and His disciples were walking through the streets of Jerusalem when they encountered a blind man. In John 9:1-2, one of the disciples asked Jesus why this man was blind: “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. ‘Rabbi,’ his disciples asked him, ‘why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?’” (NLT)
Jesus lovingly put their confusion to rest with today’s key verse, “‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him’” (John 9:3).
I can imagine the disciples standing there, looking perplexed by what Jesus meant. How could this man’s blindness be a display of the power of God? What had he ever done to glorify God? How could his life serve a higher purpose?
The passage continues, “Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, ‘Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam’ (Siloam means ‘sent’). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!” (John 9:6-7, NLT) The blind man’s sight was completely healed, but notice that his healing was not immediate. He wasn’t healed when Jesus spat on the mud and smeared it on his eyes, but only after he had obeyed what Jesus instructed him to do.
The blind man was healed when he chose to fully obey the command of Jesus to “go.” Without questioning or hesitating, the man went, and his obedience resulted in healing and discovering holy purpose from his pain.
This man had been suffering with undeserved physical and emotional challenges for decades. He may have lived his entire life feeling inferior, unloved, rejected, excluded and possibly believing he had no purpose. He may have also assumed his suffering and current limitations rendered him useless. After all, he didn’t have any special skills or qualifications — not even eyesight.
But here stood Jesus, telling everyone how this man’s life still counted and that his life could serve as proof of the power of God. Because of his obedience, his physical blindness was healed, but more importantly, his spiritual blindness was healed, opening his eyes to a new perspective about his past and future.
Unlike this blind man, we often find ourselves questioning God’s call and talking ourselves out of obedience rather than blindly trusting and obeying His command to “go.” But when we walk forward in faith, even when we don’t feel ready and have to push through our doubts, fears and hesitations, true healing and purpose can begin to take shape in our hearts and in our lives.
God allows pain, struggles and adversities in our lives. But regardless of our circumstances or limitations, when we choose to take that leap of faith with blind obedience, trusting God even when we don’t know what lies ahead, we too can experience true spiritual healing, see a new perspective about our past for the very first time, and take the first step into discovering our unique purpose.
Lord, I want my life to serve as proof of Your goodness. Fill me with courage and motivation to trust and obey You. I want to go and share with others what You have done for me. Show me how You can turn my pain into purpose and make my life count for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
James 5:11, “We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” (NLT)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
In this upcoming year, how might God be calling to you to “go,” and use your past for a specific purpose to glorify Him? Share your thoughts in today’s comments section!
What fears do you need to overcome in order to step out in blind faith and allow God to use your life as proof of His power?
© 2019 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.