Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Bethany Bullet - October 5, 2011

· How do we cope with suffering?

· How do we explain our struggles?

That is the very thing the disciples struggled with in our text. (Click here to read: John Chapter 9) How do you explain something like this, the disciples puzzled?

· How do you explain his suffering, Jesus?

· Who sinned that he has suffered such?

Not exactly a novel question. We too have pondered our struggling and suffering with the question, “Why?”

· Why is that disease in our body?

· Why is there such animosity in our family?

· Why is downsize facing our company?

· Why is there so much uncertainty even about our ministry?

The disciples answer – someone had to sin right? After all if it wasn’t their fault it must be...God’s.

So . . . it must be their fault!

“Neither his folks nor himself says the Lord. BUT”, (now in our text this is one sentence). That semicolon holds this together as one thought and offered in one breath, but I bet before Jesus put the period on His sentence the disciples minds had concocted a number of scenarios. IF it isn’t their fault, is it God’s? Either...

a. He is capricious - just willy-nilly in His care of that which he created. Haven’t you noticed that not everyone or every nation or every location suffers the same? If not capricious...

b. He is incompetent – can’t really handle everything. Hey, the world is a bigger place than when it began. He had only 2 people to take care of at the outset now 6.2 billion. If He is not capricious or incompetent...

c. He is just incensed. We have so exhausted the mercy of God that even the most sincere of petitions is only met with His condemnation.

Incensed, incompetent, capricious – what says the Psalmist? (Psalm 103):

The Lord forgives all our sins and He heals, He redeems lives from the pit and crowns His people with love. He satisfies us with good thingsdoesn’t sound capricious does it?

He works righteousness and justice and makes His ways knownnot exactly the hallmarks of incompetence!

The Lord is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so Great is His love for us – His not incensed!

“So if it isn’t Him, it has got to be us!”, so reasoned the disciples. And on the one hand (in a generalizing way) they were right. Now true, they were wrong because Jesus said so and I’m not gonna start an argument with Him.

“Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” WRONG – not a particular sin of himself or his parents that led to his condition. Now in saying that, Jesus is not denying that the result of suffering in the world is sin, the fall was great! After Adam and Eve were shown the exit from Eden none of their descendants, down to you and me, would ever be able to escape suffering completely. Nor is Jesus stating that God will not allow us to experience the consequence of foolish, faulty, or futile decisions. Kick a wall expect a sore toe! Fight against God you might find that your chariots and troops can’t out-swim Him.

At the source of our struggles and sufferings you will find the seepage of original sin but you will also find our Lord, as did His disciples in this Gospel reading, inviting you to also see suffering as opening for glorifying Him. My friends, says Jesus to a querying collection of disciples, it’s not about the blind man but the One who sees ALL things!

Not just the sufferings of the man born blind but ours too. Maybe your sufferings are well known, maybe your struggles are a secret to most, but one thing is true, they are yours. The question is...

· Will you focus on affixing culpability for them or offering glory through them?

May the words of Jesus provide the answer, “This is for the glory of God.”

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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