John 9:1-3 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, WHO DID SIN, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
This ranks up there as one of the most abused scriptures ever. Basically, the reasoning goes like this; this man didn’t sin. His parent’s didn’t sin. Therefore he wasn’t blind as a result of sin! He was only blind so that Jesus could work a miracle on him! Therefore sickness isn’t the result of sin!
So it’s not your FAULT that your life is a shambles, “it just happened”! It’s not your FAULT you’re sick, “you just caught something!”
Most people out there, perhaps you, believe that is what this scripture says. And if I was trying to explain it WORSE than that, I don’t think I could do it! That’s as bad as it can get! If that is right, then it means that GOD made someone grow up and spend over 20 years of his life BLIND… JUST so that Jesus could “show off” and do one miracle!
This belief would mean that sickness ISN’T the result of sin, and therefore sickness just HAPPENS! And therefore sin doesn’t necessarily cause sickness! It makes God out to be a MONSTER who would CAUSE this person to be blind for NO REASON except that it let Christ do a miracle! Like some twisted Dr. Jekyll, he makes people sick just to cure them and look like a hero. You know, I bet that’s what Satan thinks of all God’s miracles! Shame on anyone who believes, much less teaches, that!
THINK ABOUT IT! Did God CREATE man to be blind? Did God INTEND that people suffer, lose teeth, eyes, break bones, bleed, or die? Did He PLAN it so that we would HAVE to feel that? Let’s fast-forward a bit and see!
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
NO MORE PAIN! No more tears! Do you suppose we’ll have BLIND people then? Do you suppose there will be people with deformities of ANY kind? WHY NOT? Because God is RULING it, and it is a RIGHTEOUS kingdom!
Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
The people mentioned there break commandments number 1, 7, 6, 2, and 9 respectively, so I think we can assume that ALL commandment breakers are included in this – those people are LOCKED OUT of the Kingdom of God! And BECAUSE there are no broken commandments, there is no SIN, for sin IS the breaking of the commandments! (1 John 3:4). And so there is also no suffering, and no pain, and no blindness!
By the same token, there was no SIN in the Garden of Eden either, and so Adam was not blind or lame or bald, and Eve didn’t have prematurely gray hair, toothaches or look like a giant pear! Because it was their SIN that caused those things!
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
So because of Adam’s SIN, all those things come upon us. But it didn’t stop there! Because it wasn’t just one ACT of Adam’s that perpetuated this. It was an act that set up a PATTERN of disobedience! A PATTERN of following “the way that seems right to a man” – the way that ends in death, every single time.
Eve picked the forbidden fruit, Adam ate it, and they got kicked out of the Garden. Then they taught their children things that weren’t true to justify their own disobedience. As a result Cain was raised with a belief system that allowed him to kill Abel.
Cain, naturally taught his children that sin was OK (After all, he tried it and hadn’t died!), and so his children found newer and better ways to sin! All the way through history this story was repeated, all of us trapped into the pattern of perpetuating Adam’s sin. But that cycle can be broken! You didn’t HAVE to disobey God – you just WANTED to, and your parents and your preacher said it was OK, but you didn’t HAVE to do it! But you DID, and so now YOU are stuck just like Adam was.
But now back up and look at this scripture again with fresh eyes and see what exactly Jesus said:
John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Before you run off and build a doctrine around a scripture, settle down, sit on your hands and close your mouth and read WHAT IT SAYS! Jesus exempts two groups, and ONLY those two groups, from blame for this man’s blindness; He says it isn’t the MAN’S fault, or his PARENTS. Most people rush off there and conclude “so it wasn’t anyone’s fault!” – but Jesus didn’t say that!
He didn’t say that the Pharisees hadn’t sinned and caused this. He didn’t say that the man’s grandparents hadn’t sinned and caused it. He didn’t say that Adam hadn’t sinned and caused it! He didn’t say that Satan hadn’t sinned and caused it! He said ONLY that this man and his parents had not specifically committed a physical or moral sin and caused it!
Remember, unless God WANTED to put death, sickness and disease on innocent people – people whom HE PERSONALLY SAID HADN’T CAUSED IT – just so He could show off, then SOMEONE sinned, SOMEWHERE!
The wages of sin is DEATH. NOTHING else can earn death but sin! Find another way to die! Go on, do it! But if you obey God, you CANNOT die – so if someone dies, it’s the result of a sin, SOMEWHERE. So if this man’s eye was DEAD (which I don’t think is too big a stretch) then it was DEAD because of the wages of SIN.
Proverbs 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so THE CURSE CAUSELESS SHALL NOT COME.
You have it as a promise from God that there is NO curse that falls on a man without a CAUSE, SOMEWHERE. And I think we’d all agree that blindness is a curse! God also said:
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
So when things go well, be happy! But if they are NOT going well, THINK ABOUT IT! God set it up this way so that you can figure out what you’re doing wrong – with His help! So if this man was blind, it was a symptom of SOME sin, whether a sin of the society, a sin of the doctrine of the Pharisees, or just the fact that the land of Israel wasn’t healthy anymore because they hadn’t “dressed and kept the Earth” – when you think about it, there were a LOT of blind, dumb, lame, sick people for Jesus to heal in Palestine, far more than there should have been in a healthy nation.
And so someone sinned. But wait a moment! What about this verse…?
Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Sin EXISTED in the world before the law had been given (to Moses)… but sin didn’t COUNT where there was no law. In other words, if you’re IGNORANT, God doesn’t chalk that sin up against you! But hold on now! Sin DOES have a penalty! It may not be a SPIRITUAL penalty, but there IS a penalty.
For example, if you don’t KNOW that driving over someone’s foot will hurt them, God won’t hold you accountable on a spiritual level – but they’ll have a broken foot all the same! (I know, I was the one who had the broken foot!). So there IS a penalty, even for a sin of ignorance – just not necessarily a moral penalty.
When David counted up Israel so that he could invade the rest of the world and become emperor of Earth (which wasn’t part of God’s plan), God was angry and punished him. He gave him three options – three years famine, three months losing battles, or three days disease. David opted for the shorter sentence…
1 Chronicles 21:14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
David’s sins made the whole nation suffer. SEVENTY THOUSAND DIED! Not for their sins – not for their parents sins! But for the sins of ONE man, the king David! There was a sin someplace – and not a sin of pure ignorance, but sin where someone knew at least partially that this was wrong, but his greed and lust for power overcame that fear to disobey God – and that sin must have come from David.
Verse 8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
A fact which David admitted, as we see. So now with this background, we can finally answer the question of this young blind man. Jesus said he didn’t know any better, nor did his parents. Neither one had sinned. They may not have been living perfectly – they no doubt were not – but it didn’t matter, for “where there is no law, there is no sin”. They didn’t know any better, so it didn’t count as “sin”. But there WERE people who DID know better – and didn’t care. THEIR sin caused it.
Later on in the same chapter after the blind man was healed, the Pharisees ran him through the inquisition a few times, then Jesus found him and told him who He was, and concluded with this statement, which will tell us WHO really WAS to blame:
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
IF you were blind, YOU WOULD HAVE NO SIN! But they said “We see!” “WE are the wise doctors of divinity, priests of God’s chosen people, WE have the truth!” – and because they said that, THEIR SIN COUNTED against them! They KNEW better, and yet they WOULD NOT obey God!
John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
The health of Israel was clearly in a decline. And historically the truth about God comes right along with the truth about health, for John, speaking for God, said:
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
But when the Pharisees left the law, they left health. They left proper farming practices and proper eating practices. And the laws of health are no less binding than the laws given from Mt. Sinai. And the priests were supposed to teach both.
Malachi 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
So yes, it wasn’t for that man’s sins, nor for his parents. But the Pharisees said “WE are not blind!” – and they weren’t. They KNEW better. And so Jesus did not exempt them from blame – for they WERE to blame. Just as the ministry in any church today is to blame for the health of that church.
So you might be sick because of YOUR sins. More than likely, you are. Then again your parents might be the ones to blame. Or it might be the sins of Kellogg, or Dow Chemical. Or the sins of Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers for not framing the constitution quite right.
It really doesn’t matter whose fault it is, there WAS a sin that caused it, and the solution to ANY sin is to STOP sinning and do it right! Since there is a rather wide variety of sins out there that cause sickness, I won’t go into that – but you can take it to the bank that you are sick because of sin.
It’s your job to find out what the sin is, and how to fix it.