Bible Studies/John 9:3

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Question
Hello, I'm Julian. Thank you for being willing to answer questions. I realize that in Biblical studies, sometimes it seems that there can be no way to be sure of definite answers. Even so, I have questions about the interpretation of John 9:3. This is especially interesting for me because I, myself, have a mobility impairment.

I am compelled to ask such questions as:  What should one conclude about all the time during which this blind man had been born, and lived, but Jesus had not met him yet? Do we say that, because the man received help and alms from ordinary people before Jesus arrived, therefore it is okay that he had to suffer blindness until Jesus healed him? Who can measure the amount of suffering that it was okay for this man to experience before Jesus came?

Was this man created in large part so that Jesus could heal him, and if so are we to believe in predestination? How strictly?

It sounds to me as if Jesus is coming close to implying that the man was put here as a sort of "prop," as though the man existed only to be an exemplar, in order for Jesus not only to help but also to "show off" by displaying God's power -- for education of those in denial or unaware of God's power. If the man was blind "in order that the work of God might be displayed in his life," does this denigrate man by saying that there was nothing else important about him?

Maybe we should make a counter-argument against this "bad" interpretation by saying  that Jesus wasn't denigrating the man, but saying the man was very special -- perhaps the man was already unusually devout and enlightened. But what about all the other enlightened blind people? We know that Jesus can heal people at any distance. Why pick this blind man to heal at once, while having the other enlightened blind people wait until the Day of Judgement?

Thanks again for your time and attention.

Julian

Answer
Hello Julian, Thank you for allowing me to address your questions.

1. What should one conclude about all the time during which this blind man had been born, and lived, but Jesus had not met him yet?

All that can be concluded is that the man lived in a state of "disadvantage" because of his blindness. Because of the time period in which he lived we can assume that he was poor and relied upon the alms, family, or other means to take care of his needs.


2.Do we say that, because the man received help and alms from ordinary people before Jesus arrived, therefore it is okay that he had to suffer blindness until Jesus healed him?

The scriptures tell us that this man was blind from birth. Do we say it was ok? As hard as it might be, the answer would have to be yes. There was nothing that could be done about his condition. As we would consider it unfortunate, unfair, even cruel as some would see it, the real issues would be, how to deal with the the difficulties of the condition.

Now there is something else we must really examine in this. With suffering comes much appreciation. Example: A person who has had everything is most likely to take advantage, and take for granted most  if not all things. They will develop a mind set that all things are deserved and a matter of right. Pride, arrogance  

A person who has had nothing however, is more  likely to have hope, appreciate the little things, the things they have while they hope for something better. They will be humble, meek.

Can we truly appreciate sight if there was never a time when we couldn't see? This not only applies to physical sight, but spiritual sight as well.

3. Was this man created in large part so that Jesus could heal him, and if so are we to believe in predestination? How strictly?

John 9:3
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

This question has a couple of answers. Yes and No.

From the stand point of "predestination" yes he was the one that God chose to be in the path of Jesus at that particular time. However he was not born as a "prop" so to speak. When we look at the passage we see the disciples trying to find reason for his blindness, assuming it to be punishment for sin. Jesus answered letting then know it was not because of sin, therefore we know it was just a defect at birth.

However what about when Jesus made this comment?: "but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

Jesus was not saying that the man was born for the purpose of being healed or showing off..he was stating that through this man, because of the miracle of healing that was going to be performed, the works of God would be known to him and others because of him being healed and by his testimony.

You: "It sounds to me as if Jesus is coming close to implying that the man was put here as a sort of "prop," as though the man existed only to be an exemplar, in order for Jesus not only to help but also to "show off" by displaying God's power -- for education of those in denial or unaware of God's power. If the man was blind "in order that the work of God might be displayed in his life," does this denigrate man by saying that there was nothing else important about him?


The purpose of the miracles Jesus performed, was for the glorification of the Father and for belief:


John 10:37-38

King James Version #KJV#

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.


John 14:11

King James Version #KJV#

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

John 20
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Did him being born blind and the miracle denigrate the man? No. The act of the miracle was an uplifting of the man, showing Gods Loving Kindness and Tender Mercies toward man. As this man received a direct healing, because of it, others were given hope where there was non, belief where there was doubt.



I hope this shares a little light on this subject. If there is anything that needs clarification or further answering, please feel free to follow up.


God Bless and Keep you

Rev. Darryl Murphy

Bible Studies

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Rev. Darryl Murphy

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I am willing to to answer any questions regarding Biblical Doctrine and application. Can a man lose his salvation? Is the Trinitarian Doctrine really Biblical? Was there really Pre-Adamic life? What of the end times,IS there really a raputure? Who will be raptured? Where are we in the end time scenario? Are we predestined ? All these are doctrinal questions.Most would answer based on traditional teachings(not biblical).Find out the TRUTH according to the Bible.

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