That the Works of God Might Be Displayed

by Alice Matagora March 11, 2024
"'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'" John 9:3 (NIV)

Maybe it’s because I put my career first for so long — that’s why I can’t get pregnant.
Maybe it’s because I wanted the promotion too much — that’s why the door was shut.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been too eager for a relationship — that’s why I’m still single.

Throughout my life, I’ve gone through several seasons of wondering. Wondering why things haven’t turned out the way I wanted them to. Wondering why my life seemed stuck while everyone else’s seemed to be moving along just fine. Wondering why others seemed to have it so much easier than me. This wondering can quickly turn into looking for someone to blame. For me, that “someone” is usually myself.

Is there something wrong with me? Did I do something wrong?

I feel small, like a child who is confused and afraid.

In John 9, Jesus and His disciples met a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples responded in a way many of us do when we encounter some misfortune: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2, NIV). In other words, Who is to blame?

We may be surprised by the response of the Son of God, the only One who sees and knows the sins of all humankind: “‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9:3, emphasis added).

There was more to the story than the disciples could see. The Son of God had yet to fully reveal His works in the man’s life.

Perhaps there is more to your story than what you can see right now, more that God has yet to reveal.

Sin does have consequences, and sometimes our own choices can create or worsen hard situations in our lives. Even then, Jesus always gives us grace (James 4:6). It’s equally important to realize that not all suffering is caused by our personal sin. Sometimes we may suffer for reasons we can’t explain — yet “the works of God might be displayed” (John 9:3).

So when we are quick to jump to conclusions and blame ourselves when things don’t go as planned, and when we feel like that confused, scared child, Jesus gently and compassionately releases us from our self-condemnation.

No, daughter. There’s nothing wrong with you. You may feel confused right now, but I will show up here.

Although it may not happen when or how we expect, Jesus reassures us that His works will be displayed in our lives and that He can do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). We only need to trust in Him and wait.

Lord, when we are in a season of wondering why, remove any condemnation or shame we so quickly place on ourselves, and help us to wait with faith that Your works might be displayed in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Jesus’ command to go and make disciples can feel complicated and overwhelming. Do you wonder where to start, what it looks like, and how to fit this disciple-making thing into your busy schedule? You’re not alone. In How to Save the World, Alice Matagora invites you, wherever you are, to enter Jesus’ plan to save the world. She understands your anxieties (because she’s experienced them) and helps you to break down barriers, pointing you to the joy of engaged discipleship: knowing Christ, making Him known, and helping others do the same.



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Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).


Where in your life are you struggling with self-condemnation and shame?


What scriptures or experiences of God’s goodness can you call to mind to remind you of God’s faithfulness to work all things for your good?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Alice Matagora. All rights reserved.

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