Devotions for the Week of March 26, 2017

Meditation for the Week of March 26, 2017

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3 

Very often we want logical answers in the face of illogical tragedy. When we hear about a random act of violence we wonder how this could have happened, what the perpetrator was thinking, as if there were an orderly answer for the chaos. Even Jesus’ disciples made this mistake. They saw a man born blind and immediately thought there must a reasonable answer for this tragedy. They assumed a one-for-one correlation: if this man was blind, someone must have done something to earn it.

We make the same mistake. We think that if we do something good, then God will owe us one good favor. If we do something wrong, then we should watch our backs because God will repay us. This kind of thinking is completely backwards. It places us in the driver’s seat and it only allows God to react to what we’re doing, as if we were the ones writing the history of our lives and the world.

Jesus corrects this backwards thought: “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” This blind man did nothing that forced God to react, nor did his parents. Instead, we learn that even in the face of unexplainable tragedy, God can still work God. He still redeems and saves, even when we can’t explain the situation. He overcomes all evil and works for the good of His children.

When we look at things from this point of view, we see that we are not in the driver’s seat. God is. He is in control, even when things seem like a disaster, even when it appears to our mortal eyes like chaos is winning the day. It isn’t. God is still the Almighty. He is still ruling over His creation, not merely reacting to it. This means that everything we have comes from Him. It means that we don’t receive the due payment for our sins. Jesus has stepped in and paid that for us. That doesn’t mean that all wrongdoing is consequence-free, however. If we break laws, we have to pay the penalties to this world’s authorities. But when it comes to eternity, we’re forgiven. We aren’t blinded or wounded by God because of our sins or the sins of our parents. And when things do look bleak, when it seems like we’re being hard pressed by God, we know that this is only His discipline—a lesson to teach us to not trust in our own abilities to get us out of trouble and to rely entirely on Him. Every good thing, in this world or the next, is ours because of what Jesus has accomplished. His work of salvation has been displayed in us.

Our Weekly Prayer

Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.