Psalm of Praise: Psalms 37:4-6
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Bible Reading: John 9:1-5
As he went along, Jesus 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 one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
When anything goes wrong, whether it is the weather, the cost of living, waiting times or family disputes, there is often a desire to blame someone or something. I’m not sure this is helpful, other than trying to dump the responsibility onto someone else.
It was widely thought in Jewish culture that suffering came to people as the result of sin and so, in this bible passage, the disciples want to know who is to blame because a man was born blind, was it the man himself or was it his parents.
Instead of apportioning blame, Jesus used the situation to teach about faith and to glorify God, ‘This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’, says Jesus.
We live in a fallen world where bad things happen to seemingly good people (though actually we are all sinners in one way or another), bad behaviour is not always punished and good behaviour is not always rewarded and so innocent people suffer. This is the world that Jesus died in order to redeem.
Previously Jesus has said he is the light of the world. He says it again here, though this time he demonstrates it by bringing light into the eyes of a blind man in contrast to the religious people of the day who, we will discover later, remained in darkness even though their eyes could see.
When things go wrong, let’s not ask, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ or say, ‘They didn’t deserve that!’ Instead let us ask what good can come out of this situation and what I can do to move it forwards for good, to bring light into a dark situation.
Thank you Jesus that you took my blame on your cross.
Help me to bring the light of your love into the darkness that surrounds us.
Jesus, hope of the nations