Not For Sale
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LET'S SEE WHAT GOD CAN DO!
"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 works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'" John 9:1-5 (NIV).
Two worlds; two perspectives!
The disciples represented the world view of the people of their day. They looked upon any adversity as punishment for sin. A righteous person enjoyed God's blessing while an unrighteous person experienced hardship and trouble as a result of his evil deeds.
This philosophy of life posed a problem for Job and his friends because Job suffered huge loss and yet he knew he was not guilty of wickedness. His friends tried to convince him that he had done wrong while he protested his innocence and accused God of being unjust. Both parties were unaware of the behind-the-scenes conversation between God and Satan, and Satan's challenge to remove Job's blessings and see him turn on God.
It was natural, from the disciples' point of view, for them to question Jesus about the cause of this man's blindness. Someone must have sinned and been responsible for his blindness, either the man or his parents that he was in this condition. To them this was about cause and effect.
Jesus had a different world view from theirs. In the words of Eugene Peterson (The Message Bible), "Jesus said, 'You're asking the wrong question. You are looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.'" John 9:3.
From His perspective, trouble and hardships were not a punishment from God but the outcome of living in a fallen word. "'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'" . It was not so much about who was responsible for the bad things but what God can do to reveal His love and mercy (glory) through them.
Jesus lived His whole life from a "kingdom" perspective. He viewed life from God's point of view. What was that? Since He was the lamb "slain from before the foundation of the world", sin was no longer the problem. He gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin which enabled Him to forgive the sinner without an animal sacrifice. Because His religious opponents did not understand this, they were infuriated with Him when He forgave sins and released the sinner.
He revealed God's true nature as a merciful and forgiving Father who opened His arms to receive His erring sons back into the family. He no longer needed to punish them. When they experienced hardship, it was His opportunity to show His mercy and reveal His glory by intervening to deliver them from trouble.
Unfortunately there is a stream of thought in many areas of the church which mimics the philosophy of ancient Israel. If a person is sick or his business fails, for example, he has either sinned or lacks the faith to be healed or for his business to be restored or for any adversity to be reversed. This leaves the sufferer disappointed, disillusioned and suspicious of God because He didn't come through for him. He prayed for a "breakthrough" and God don't answer him.
There are many ways that God reveals His glory through our troubles. He may heal or restore our fortunes or He may not, but use them to teach us to appropriate the grace that make us strong in our weakness. From His point of view, "...In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV) .
Instead of looking for someone or something to blame in our troubles, let's look to the Father with expectation because He has something up His sleeve that will surprise us and shine the light on His glory!
Let's see what God can do!
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