John 9:1-3 ESV
“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
His Blindness Served a Purpose
Jesus was not claiming that this man and his parents were not sinners, but that his blindness was not a result of anyone’s sin. He was born blind according to the will of God that God might display his works in him. For God had a plan for this man’s life and for how he was going to use him for the glory of God. And so he allowed him to be born blind because God knew what he had planned to do in this man’s life.
Now, think with me about this for a moment, especially in light of Psalms 139 where we read that the Lord formed our inward parts and that he knit us together in the womb’s of our mothers. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Wonderful are his works. In his book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for us, when as yet there was none of them, for they had not yet come into being.
It sounds really good doesn’t it? But then think about this. Think about all the children who are born with disabilities, or who are born into abusive home environments and to abusive and/or neglectful parents. Think about the children who are sold into slavery or who are treated as cattle and not as human beings. Think about those who are born into war-torn nations and to extreme poverty. Where was God in all of that?
He was in the same place he was when this man was born blind. He was fully sovereign and fully in control over all things. Although he is not the author of evil, he allows evil to exist, and he allows evil people to inflict pain and suffering on the people of this world. And so he knits some of us together in the wombs of women who are married to abusers, knowing full well that we are going to be abused. So, why would a loving God do this?
Think with me about Joseph. Joseph believed God. But God allowed for him to be nearly put to death but then sold into slavery. Why? Because Joseph was going to be a kind of savior for his people. God sent him ahead of his people to prepare the way for a time of famine to save their lives during the time of famine, which is what then brought them into Egypt. And Joseph declared that what his brothers had done to harm him God intended for good to accomplish the saving of many lives (Gen 50:20). Amen!
A Personal Example of This
And let me give a personal example of this. God placed me with a father who was the epitome of Satan. He was a bully, an abuser, a child molester, and a wife beater, etc. And God placed me with a mother who was emotionally neglectful who often handed us over to our father. And this caused much harm to me physically, mentally, and emotionally. And if it weren’t for God, I would not be here today, I am most certain.
But the abuse did not end there. God gave me a marriage to a man who was a sex addict, though I did not know that when I married him. And there were abuse issues there, as well (not physically). And then I faced a lot of rejection from pastors and church people throughout my life, and there were other men who tried to or who took advantage of me, and then there was a short time in my life when I caved to it all and sinned against my Lord.
Now, God did not cause people to sin against me and he did not cause me to sin. But because of all that I went through in my life, for good or for evil, God was preparing me for a ministry for which he had planned for my life even from before he created the world. For he knew us all from before he even laid the foundations of the earth, not just from when he formed us in the wombs of our mothers (Rom 8:29; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Eph 1:3-4).
In 2004 the Lord called me to this ministry of writing down what I understand of what he is teaching me from my times with him in his word and then to place those writings on the internet. And then he sends the writings wherever he wants them to go. And they are going to people all over the world. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that this is what I would be doing with my life in my senior years.
But when you look at where we are as the nations of the world and as the world as a whole right now, it was very timely of God to call me to this specific ministry at this time in my life. And I do believe very much that it is also for the saving of lives. For we live in a time, at least here in America, when the church is indistinguishable from the world and where the gospel is being diluted in order to give them permission to keep living in sin.
And so God sent me and others like me to the internet at this time in history to proclaim the truths of the gospel and to refute the lies of the enemy, and to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness so that many people will be saved before our Lord comes back to judge the people of the earth and to take his bride to be with him for eternity. And his bride are those who are dying with him to sin daily and who are living to him and to his righteousness.
John 9:4-5 ESV
“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Not only did God display his works in this man’s life, but he had planned from before the creation of the world who we would be and what works he had planned to be displayed in our lives, too. For, we who belong to him are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. Yes, we are to do works, but they are the works of God which he has planned for us to do.
[Eph 2:10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17]
John 9:6-7 ESV
“Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.”
I love this! Jesus didn’t always heal in the same way. His healing ministry was not a “cookie cutter” ministry. He had different ways he did things with different people, and he does the same today. He could have just touched him and said, “Be healed!”, but he didn’t. And I think that served a purpose in the man’s life, perhaps to increase his faith because he was not instantaneously healed.
Also, Jesus didn’t heal everyone. He healed a lot of people, for sure, but he didn’t heal everyone, and not all in the same way. For when I think of the way in which Jesus healed this man, the man had to step out in faith, and in his blindness he had to walk to this pool, and he had to physically wash the mud off his eyes, and then he came back seeing. So although Jesus was the healer, the man had a part in his healing by his actions of faith.
And in reality, that is how faith works. Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross so we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We can’t do this in ourselves, for even the faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God. But we have to do what Jesus says. Obedience, repentance, and submission to Christ as Lord are part of believing faith. We obey him and then we receive the spiritual healing which he provides.
So, if you identify with any of this in any way, and if you have struggled with things you have had to endure, and with accepting the sovereignty of God over your life, I pray you will yield your life over to the will of God and let him do his work in your life and through your life for his glory, in spite of and because of what you have had to endure. He is our healer! And he can heal any suffering.
Also, if you have not yet submitted your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ because you have bought into Satan’s lies, and because you are wanting to hold on to your sinful practices, then I pray you will surrender your lives to Jesus today and let him truly be Lord (owner-master) of your lives. And then let him do his work in and through your lives as you walk in obedience to his commands for his glory, and also for the saving of many lives.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14]
I Stand in Awe
By Mark Altrogge
You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above
And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You
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3 thoughts on “That the Works of God Might be Displayed”
Thank you Sue….this is a very timely message, and you are brave to share your story…may God bless you and continue to give you His wisdom as you proclaim His word and forgiveness of sins…
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Gregory, you are welcome. All glory to God! My courage comes only from the Lord. Thank you for this encouragement and for the blessing. Yes, I need his wisdom daily.
Yes…all glory to God alone for the strength and wisdom He provides…..it is written that we acknowledge Him in ALL our ways and He will direct our path….and that we should pray that God would fill us with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…(Col 1:9)
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