Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Christian Approach to Differently AbledSt. John Chapter 9
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him”
Every day, with the exception of a major lockdown, we see many people. These people stand out to us whether it be by their personality, physical traits, or intentions. Every single day, we make judgments about these people, willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly. One such judgment is seen through Jesus’s disciples: the disciples assign blame for the blind man’s previous sins as an explanation for his physical state. In today’s gospel lesson, however, Christ teaches us otherwise. He teaches us about the danger of the blindness of blame.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him” (Jn. 9:3). Christ’s response can really frustrate us. It sounds as if Christ is saying that God made this man blind so that God could heal him later on. It seems rather cruel, doesn’t it? Why make him blind in the first place if Christ would heal him anyway?
It is important to approach this situation through a different lens. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Christ says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” So it is not in our strength that we are saved but in our weakness. This is extremely important to consider in the context of this passage. Oftentimes, we think of those who outwardly appear good and healthy and we do not assign blame to them but applaud them as pious stewards before God. The irony of Christ, however, is that the weak who are humble and receive the grace of God, as the blind man did today, will inherit the kingdom of God. This is God’s approach to the differently abled, that those who seek him the most out of their weakness shall receive the light, and glorify God as the blind man has today. God’s plans for his people, whatever identity they have, or their physical and mental capabilities, are all different. Do we see vanity in judging others before God?
Humans do not reserve the right to judge or assign blame before others, and that right is reserved by God alone. In the midst of weakness that we encounter, whether it be physical or mental, we must remember to turn to God, the ultimate healer, in humility, and his grace will be sufficient for us.
Oh Lord of awesome wonder, thank you for creating us, as we are. Allow us to not use our energy in assigning blame to others, but come before you in humility in our weakness. Amen.
Thought of the day
If we blame, we are spiritually blind.
The Mar Thoma Church, Staten Island