So remember my upset about how this story starts? Let’s review:
As he walked along,
he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.
And I was upset because the idea that God caused the man to be born blind just to reveal God’s glory is …. upsetting to me.
Well it turns out that, if I had remembered to read the footnote, that might not be how the lines “really” go. It might be:
So instead Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; we must work the works of him who sent me …. ”
That it doesn’t matter to Jesus “why” the man was blind, nor does it matter to him “why” is this world so broken”. It just is. So Jesus aims to hurry and work to fix the problem.
A pastor friend of me, not knowing I was studying this, wrote about this in her blog and then there it is in the footnotes. Well. Don’t you love that? God found a way to “answer” me. 😉
I know that, just my life experience anyway, that “why” can be a trap. “Why did you do that?” says the parent to child. “I dunno,” says every child everywhere. “Why” can have you going around in circles. Instead, I can imagine Jesus (once again) shaking his head a bit at the disciples, smiling gently, and basically saying, “Let’s not waste time. Let’s get to work on healing.”
I also want to point out that right after the healing the point of view changes from Jesus to the blind man. So when I told this story at church, I put my hands over my eyes to “wash” them and then moved them away (like jazz hands a little bit) to reveal my sight — and to “show” that I was now a different character in the story.
For the glory of God!