Let’s not miss the profound nature of verse 2 in this text. Jesus was always being asked questions by His disciples, but this one, as they say, “takes the cake.” (I’m not sure what cake has to do with it).
His disciples ask Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Perhaps they were asking, “It’s one thing to lose one’s sight due to an accident, but to be BORN that way?”
Several points jump out at me from their question:
(2) In their minds there were only two possible answers to their question: either this man sinned or his parents did. Personal evil, to their way of thinking, stood behind this man’s disability.
Even though my formal teaching career has come to a close, I have fond memories of preparing and giving TESTS to my students. It’s one of the joys of teaching — being able to give, but not having to take, tests and exams! Occasionally, I’ve used multiple choice questions in my tests. What’s the most serious mistake a teacher can make in writing a multiple choice question? Not having the right answer as one of the choices!
It’s one thing to ask Jesus hard questions. It’s another thing entirely to proscribe for Him what the possible answers are to the question one has asked! The first He welcomes. I’m not sure He’s all that happy when we tell Him what the acceptable answers are.
It is, of course, true that EVIL, SIN lies behind all the brokenness in our world. Genesis 3 and Romans 5 both indicate that the First Family’s rebellion against God plunged the whole universe into a fallen condition. However, this is not to say that personal, individual sin caused this man’s blindness.
What profound question do you have for Jesus today? He welcomes your toughest queries — just don’t tell Him what the only possible answers are. (to be continued)