When God changes a life, it is one of the most exhilarating events for a Christian to witness. To see a new believer grow in Christ is an amazingly rewarding experience to be a part of. But the reality is this life-change does not always receive the same feedback from everyone, especially people who are not Christians. When God changes a life and the person begins to tell friends and family, the reaction is often not what that person expects the reaction to be. It is often received with skepticism and even push back. “Who is making you act like this?” “Why are you such a different person? I miss the way you used to be.” The reason for this is people who have not personally encountered Jesus Christ can’t truly comprehend the beauty of a transformed life. But one of the reasons God saves us is so others might be able to begin to comprehend this change of life, and God has used the witness of many to save their family and friends.
In our passage today there is a man who was born blind that Jesus ministered to. Jesus’ disciples had many questions about this man, and as they were asking them to Jesus, Jesus demonstrated what it looks like to minister to people. He spat in dirt and rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes (I would not necessarily recommend this exact strategy when you are ministering to others). After this man was healed, people began to notice the change in him. Many started asking what was at the source of this change, but few were vocally praising the change. Many were doubting and questioning the legitimacy of the change. There were religious people who chose to focus on the fact that Jesus decided to heal someone on the Sabbath (which they thought of as sin) instead of the miracle that a man who had been blind from birth had received sight! They simply could not believe someone could have such a change in his life; they did not fully understand (or want to accept) that God had power that they couldn’t comprehend.
There is much we can learn from this passage today.
- The main point of your tribulation is the glory of God.
The disciples wanted to know why this person was blind. They believed it was because of the sin of himself or his parents. But we see the reason for his ailment is not a result of the sin of anyone, but so God could show His power in healing him. Your sin is not necessarily the reason that you are in the middle of tribulation. It can often feel like that, but the truth is the main purpose of our afflictions is to show the faithfulness of God in redeeming our afflictions.
- Your sin is not the focus when Jesus cleanses you.
We see a way to redeem the sin in our lives is to shift the focus from ourselves and onto Jesus who cleanses us. Many people whom Jesus has saved once lived a life that so opposed the gospel that it can be difficult for them to truly accept that Jesus loves them despite their sin. Many people who mentally acknowledge that Jesus is Lord find it difficult to accept that reality for themselves because it is inconceivable that a holy God would love someone in the mess of sin in their life.
But the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is the basis of our salvation and his saving grace reaches into the messiness of our sin. Jesus comes to us and instead of Him being infected with our sin, we are infected with His righteousness.
By: Graham Withers