John 9:1-3 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
This is the beginning of one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I’m guessing the man had a sign to help his begging that said something like, “Born blind. Please help,” because otherwise, how would the disciples have known his circumstances? In any case, they brought up a very important theological question that seems to have been much debated. Forgetting the Book of Job, the teachers of the day insisted that since God was not capricious, every bad thing had to come from someone’s sin, so they argued over the cause of congenital defects like what this man had. Jesus settled that question once and for all. It’s not at all that sins don’t have consequences; we see that around us all the time. However, being simplistic and deterministic just brings guilt trips and helps no one. It is true that children can suffer the effects of their parents’ sins “to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 20:5 and more) We see the sad evidence of that constantly. However, using your ancestors as an excuse for your own sins is falling for a lie of the devil. We live in a fallen world, and there is genetic damage in everyone. When those genes express, (as the medical term is) we get congenital, or later, problems. The point is to seek God in everything, allowing Him to turn things around and use them for good, just as happened with this man.
This could not be more timely, because from yesterday we are hosting two representatives of the Japan Cockayne Syndrome Network, which Cathy founded nearly 30 years ago as a support group for families with that genetic problem. One of the ladies’ son died exactly a year ago, and she was talking about how after he died she had a dream of him rubbing his hands over his body and saying how much he liked that body, handicaps and all. She is not yet a baptized Christian, but God has certainly used her son to draw her to Himself, and I feel she is very close to full commitment. I will have opportunity to talk with her more today, and Sunday they will be attending our worship service, so I need to be fully available for whatever God wants to say through me to her. God certainly wants to use her son for her blessing and His glory!
Father, it’s awesome to see You working. From the time we picked them up at the airport, You have been in control. Thank You. May this be the time of salvation for both ladies, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!