Explaining John 9:1-3

Q. My question is regarding John 9:1-3, where the disciples ask Jesus whose sin caused the man to be blind, and Jesus answers that it was neither the man nor his parents. It’s the next part I’m asking about, where it says he was born blind so that the works of God could be displayed in him. What do you say? Surely God did not make the man blind, only to have Jesus come along and heal him, did He?

A. According to Young’s Literal Translation John 9:1-3 says;

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

I think there are two issues here. The first is Jesus was dispelling the Jewish belief that all deformities and disabilities were the result of specific sin, whether by an individual or his or her parents. In the general sense, these things did come into the world as a consequence of sin, but they are not a direct punishment for individual sin like the scholars of the time believed.

Second, Jesus never said that God created the man to be blind so Jesus could cure him, only that his condition allowed the work of God to be displayed in his life. It’s an application of Genesis 50:20 in that what the enemy intended for harm, God intended for good.

Besides, there were certainly enough other blind men in Israel to make it unnecessary for one to suffer all his life just so Jesus would have someone on whom to perform a miracle. He could have arranged for any of them to be in the right place at the right time.

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