‘Neither…'” said Jesus. (John 9:1-3)
We are always trying to play cause and effect with righteousness. Read your Bible; go to church; have your quiet time, and you will be a spiritual person, guaranteeing that things will go well for you. Fail to do these things and you leave yourself open to all kinds of bad things happening. And the converse is also the case. If things are going well, you must be doing it right, and if things are not well, you must have screwed up somewhere.
Christ’s answer as to the cause and effect of a man born blind was to detach the blindness from the normal human understanding of cause and effect. Sin didn’t have anything to do with it one way or another. There were reasons for the man’s blindness that had nothing to do with him, or his parent’s righteousness, or lack thereof. But wait a minute, I can hear someone say, the man still has to live his life for the most part blind. Yes he does, and he will deal with God based on that, but it will not be good for him to compare his life with everyone else’s, just like it wouldn’t be good for you.
The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Job, a righteous man in anyone’s book, had the bottom fall out of his life. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, in the Old Testament appeared to be a compromising man with little moral backbone, and yet in the New Testament, we find out his righteous soul was being tormented day and night by the lawlessness around him. (2 Peter 2:7) “Righteous Lot?” That’s always a real shocker to me.
All this means that the issue is not our lives fitting into some preconceived idea of righteousness or spirituality, success or failure, but our faith holding fast regardless of the circumstances.
“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 work of God might be displayed in his life.” Blind all his life just for this one moment of power? How fair is that? That is not for him to decide. It is only for him to believe.
What work is God seeking to display in your life right now through what you cannot explain?