Carly’s reflections on these resounded with me as well.
This blind guy ended up paying a strange price for being healed. His family became surrounded by a controversy they would have preferred to stay out of, and he was cast out.
There is so much Mosaic Law principles Jesus seems to be attempting to unteach. His disciples have been indoctrinated to assume someone’s sin is directly responsible for this man’s physical ailment (9:2). It was a major part of Israel’s understanding, post exile, that bad things happen to bad people.
This was because they knew the Exile was a direct promise of punishment from Deuteronomy 27, stating what would inevitably happen if they ignored YHWH. After the siege of Jerusalem, and the long road to rebuild after Exile, the Jews kind of over-corrected. They weren’t going to make this mistake twice. Obeying the LORD would equal blessing, and disobeying would equal curses. While in one moment, a child wasn’t punished for “the sins of their father”, a mans consequences could result in a generational curse. See how this is confusing?
What does Jesus say?
“it was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (9:3)
I think it’s funny how I can habitually pray for God to be glorified in my life, and then later, be annoyed and feel He’s making some object lesson out of my suffering.
There’s the flip side of that too.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (10:10b-11)
While it can sometimes feel like we sacrifice our lives to make God look good–the hero in our stories–the truth is, He sacrificed Himself to give us abundant life.
Don’t succumb to the philosophy that knowing Jesus is only beneficial on judgement day. We miss a huge thread of Scripture if we don’t see how it nurtures us now to know Him.
What does this bring to mind in your own life?