26 May 2014

Encountering Jesus ~ Why (Part 2)

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. 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.” 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. 
The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” (John 9.1-12)
I left off last time noting that Jesus had answered the disciples' undercover "Why?" question by telling them that the blind man's suffering had occurred for one reason: "...that the works of God might be displayed in him."

I wonder ~ Did the blind man hear Him? I wonder what he thought if he did... Jesus says that the blind man had suffered blindness since birth simply so that God could do His work. It doesn't seem very fair. At least that is the way I think many in our day, our time, our culture would interpret it. However to a first century Jewish man, who probably believed and accepted completely the absolute sovereignty of God... if he believed Jesus was the Messiah, as many were saying... that might have been the best news ever...

...that his suffering wasn't a result of a specific sin and it was because God had plans to do something amazingly special with him and his life...

The truth of the matter comes down to this: 


...can be answered by Jesus' response 
to the disciples in this passage of Scripture!

And it should be good news... great news... most excellent news...

So why don't we act that way when looking suffering in the face? When experiencing pain and sorrow of any type? When life just isn't fair and we don't like our circumstances? When we fear what we can see heading our way on the horizon?

photo credit: Stormsignal via photopin
Could it be that we forget it is still day? That's what Jesus tells His followers next. When we don't get the why, do we start imaging the night coming, the sun setting on the horizon and wondering how in the world to face the hard parts of life when all is dark and we see no speck of light? We start wondering if that dark silhouette is just another shade-giving, sustenance-providing tree... or some large beast that may come after us, trampling us... or worse?

And, of course...

I'll remember this until I run smack into the next "Why?" in my life.

Then, I'll get the opportunity to let rubber meet the road and apply what I see in God's Word. I love what Matthew Henry has to say about these verses: 
Christ says of uncommon calamities, that they are not always to be looked on as special punishments of sin; sometimes they are for the glory of God, and to manifest his works. 
Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone... 
So I'm asking myself today ~ 

How many opportunities will I waste, today... asking, "Why?" and then stewing because I don't get an answer, don't like the answer I get... or just don't understand even after I have His answer... instead of trusting and thanking?

this week's gratitude list

(#'s 4524 - 4555)
an absolutely delightful trip to Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island with Victoria's class

beautiful weather

wind-burnt cheeks

noses rosy from the combo of sunshine and sunglasses!

a holiday weekend to get away and rest

safety on the roads

getting to visit with some new-to-me people

Frozen in French... even when goofy girls don't understand the lyrics... just because

cannons and ancient guns

long bike rides

the old fable of the tortoise and the hare

my boy, home from college, working his summer job and accepted at a new school

my own bed

pizza buffets that include a salad


campfire on the beach

a teacher who, year after year, faithfully manages to communicate to students that they are loved and important to him

knowing that if God ever gives us the opportunity, 
that family and ours could be great friends

looking forward to a Highlands Festival

"camping weekend" menus

actually getting this post up and ready to publish, even with all the busyness, which

reminds me again why I need to keep working through this amazing book from God's Word

somehow making all the logistics work

sweet sleep

an allergic reaction that wasn't as bad as it could have been

little girl piano recital

big girl violin recital

little boy excited to begin violin lessons next year

middler girl delighted to play her sax with the jr high band next year

key lime frozen yogurt covered in kiwi and strawberries (aren't you just dying for a bit?)

looking forward to brochettes... it has been too long...

this picture - again and larger - because it is amazing:

Ten most recent posts in this series: 
Click here for all of the titles and their corresponding links in the Encountering Jesus series.

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