We always want it to be someone’s fault. We love the drama… the reality shows… the gossip…
Plus, we don’t think we’re the ones blind in the situation. (But we often are.)
Obviously, the guy sitting there whose eyes don’t work—he’s blind. Poor guy with problems.
But is he poor? Should I feel sorry for him, or is he suffering because of his sin? Or his parents’ sin? Someone is responsible for this. I’m clearly in a position of strength and superiority because I have my sight.
Jesus’ listeners believed that every deformity, disease, or disability was a result of SIN. As in, you did something bad and God is punishing you for it.
But was He? Is He?
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” —Jesus (John 9:3)
At least in this situation, it’s not about God punishing anybody.
The design of this universe is such that “you reap what you sow,” and there are natural, built-in consequences for every action. It’s written… or designed with an operating system.
Thus, God doesn’t need to punish me. My choices bring positive or negative consequences with them. To the contrary, God’s compassion is on full display throughout the life of Jesus as He sits with, talks to, and parties along side the people who the culture referred to as “sinners.” That’s one big reason why the religious elite hated Jesus. Jesus modeled that we’re all the same—there are no spiritual elite. And the blind people are not the folks with service dogs. They’re the “blind guides,” perpetuating a false religion of comparison and shame-based judgment.
Back to our guy. His eyes don’t work. He was born blind. I don’t think that was God’s original design for anyone. Something went wrong somewhere. Contamination in the ground corrupts our crops and produces adverse effects on our bodies. Chemicals in the air do harm to our systems. A parent slips on the stairs and the unborn child is adversely affected. Consequences.
But it’s easier to control people and get them to do what we want then to do if we threaten them with, “God will strike you blind if you look at porn!” Will He? Or are you more likely to develop a compulsive masturbation habit that steals you away from the present moment, makes you less grateful for your spouse, and causes you to think about sex in unhealthy ways?
Whenever I’m looking for someone to blame or shame it’s my eyes that need opening.