“And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?’” — John 9:1-2
Many years ago, I had an earthshaking experience that taught me a great spiritual lesson. When Shawn, our first son, was born, it was questionable if he would live. For nineteen days we lived in NICU. Over the next six months we learned that Shawn would be severely and permanently affected with Cerebral Palsy.
My first question was, “Why, God, are you doing this to us?” A second question was, “What did we do to deserve this?” Before Shawn was born, we had dedicated our firstborn to the Lord, wanting him to do something special for the kingdom of God. I could not see how someone that will spend his entire life in a wheelchair, at the mercy of others to meet all needs, would do anything special.
As I struggled with the question, a secretary in our office, Lillian Carte, gave me a scripture to read, John 9:1-2. It was this scripture about a blind man. I had read it many times. Yet, this reading would have a lasting impact on my life.
When Jesus and the disciples see a blind man, they have different outlooks. The disciples assume that bad things happen to those who deserve it. Their question was, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind.” This kind of question works from the assumption that everything has a cause and an effect. If something bad happens to us, we deserve it. This is a wicked and warped principle that causes much anguish and grief. How are parents that lose an unborn infant to face their tragedy? Can we assume everyone killed in an accident deserved it? How do we justify parents of a six month old, my son, being told; “your son will never walk; your son may never talk; what you see now is all you may ever have”?