As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
What We Did Not Deserve
Devotion based on John 9:1-3
See series: Devotions
You are probably familiar with the concept of karma. Some people explain karma as: “What goes around comes around.” If you do good, good things will come your way. If you do evil, watch out! But is this truly the way things work? What have you observed in your life or the lives of others? Are people always rewarded for their good deeds? Do evildoers always suffer the consequences of their actions?
Jesus’ disciples didn’t believe in karma, but they did assume that suffering was the result of evil actions. They were puzzled, then, when they came across a man who was born blind. How could he have done something so bad in the womb as to deserve a life of blindness? But if his parents were the ones cursed with a blind son because of their sin, how was that fair to the child?
Jesus told his disciples that the blindness wasn’t the consequence for a specific sin committed by either the man or his parents. In reality, the consequences of sin are far worse. The Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” The punishment for disobeying God is complete separation from the source of life for all eternity. This is what we all had coming to us. The Bible tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
But the Lord does not treat us according to what we have done. Instead, he shows mercy to all who repent. God’s works of love are displayed in us when he calls us to see that his Son, Jesus has already taken our punishment upon himself. God treats believers as his children, with love and care, even though we have not earned that status ourselves. His blessings to us are a gift. We may still suffer while we are in this fallen world, but the Lord will one day rescue us from it all and take us to himself in glory.
Dear God, thank you for treating me according to Jesus’ good deeds and not my own. Amen.