John 9.1-7 – God’s purposes
Posted: 21 November 2010 in John

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 must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

The meaning of verse 3 above is clear enough. The man was born blind so that God could by glorified through his healing. And yet at least one commentary in my possession makes the bald assertion that it does not at all mean that. It is easy to understand why it disturbs that somebody’s disability could, according to this verse, be the result of God’s foreordination. But it is nevertheless a besetting sin of modern man to imagine that he can sit in judgment upon God, and try to insist that God must think as he thinks.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55.8-9)

A theme running throughout the Bible is that God’s purpose in Creation is that it should glorify him, and that he governs it with that end in view. The blind man is therefore not consulted as to whether or not he wishes to be healed. Instead he is simply healed, thereby fulfilling his vocation to glorify God.

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