3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
In this verse Jesus replied to His disciples’ question about who sinned, this man or his parents.
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,
Instead of responding to His disciple’s question about the cause of this man’s blindness, Jesus gave the purpose of his situation. Jesus’ concern was not to assign blame; His answer was that the man’s blindness related to neither his sinning nor his parents. No specific sin caused this blindness.
Jesus rejected the idea that health and prosperity is the result of whether we sin or not. The man’s blindness was not the result of his sin or his parents’ sin. God does not give His favor strictly on whether we sin or not. Bildad was wrong in his view that only the righteous prosper (Job 8:6). Sometimes the righteous suffer.
but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
God has a providential design behind all suffering. Jesus redirected the disciples’ focus to the Father’s mission for Him on earth. He shifted the emphasis from the healing of the blind man itself to the purpose of his healing.
Jesus did not imply here that the man or his parents never sinned. His words do not contradict the idea that men sin universally (Ro 3:23). Rather, He meant that the blindness was not caused by a specific sin.
There is no universal tenet implied in this statement, because it relates to Christ and His ministry on earth.
Suffering is an opportunity for God to demonstrate His grace.
All our personal sufferings are occasions whereby we can manifest God’s glory in our lives (Jn 11:4). This is His purpose for us. Our pain is an opportunity to manifest God’s grace on us and through us.
God does not always reveal why He does what He does. We can praise Him in any circumstance because of His providential care. God never allows anything to happen to us that does not occasion His glory.
God created us for His glory and not that we might be a success in life. If we do not understand this point then we will develop distortions of God’s purpose for our lives. God uses our physical problems to manifest who He is. God showed His glory through the healing of the blind man.
If we hold on to the idea that we must be free from trouble and that we must be comfortable in all situations, then we are not living in a real world. This will lead to resentment and hostility against God and others. The proper attitude is to give thanks in everything, not for everything (1 Th 5:18). This perspective will influence others on how to deal with pain in one’s life (2 Co 1:3-11).
Misfortune is not God’s primary will. He works in us through and in our problems. Sin and its consequences is due to rebellion again Him. Suffering is a test of our faith. We do not deny or avoid pain because of this.
Not all disease can be traced to sin. Some sinful behavior can result in sickness. Neither is the degree of sickness is not always related to sinful behavior (Lu 13:2-5). However, all sin is remotely due to the sin of Adam and Eve. And less remotely, personal sin is sometimes the cause of suffering. God does not give tit for tat in every situation.
If our suffering is the direct result of our sin, then it occasions us to receive God’s grace of forgiveness. If our affliction is not due to our personal sin, then it is an occasion for God to manifest Himself through us to others.
We cannot universalize these principles. Some sorrow defies explanation.
We need to be careful that we do not attribute evil to God’s will. Evil comes from rebellion against God.