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Why Bad Things Happen

One of the most common, and yet most difficult questions that people ask is “why do bad things happen”

I’ll never forget March 3, 2016 when I got the terrible news that my grandpa had passed away tragically in a car accident. He was having some type of medical event when he made the decision to drive himself to the hospital. On the way he lost consciousness and veered off of the highway into the base of a hill. They think he passed instantly, probably even before the impact.

I miss him every day, and frankly I don’t believe I’ve been the same person since he passed away. I spent much of my childhood at my grandparents house and I always wanted to be just like him. He was a Navy Veteran, a champion boxer on ship who never lost a fight

in his older age he was a carpenter and was tough as nails. I remember a time when he was using a jig saw to build my grandma a birdhouse and he nearly cut his thumb off, like broken and all. We did end up going to the hospital, but only after he finished building that bird house for mamaw.

Papaw was invincible, or so we all thought. I can’t stand up here and tell you that I fully understand why what happened, happened. I can’t understand why my grandpa who was so great with kids, didn’t have the chance to meet his triplet great grand kids. Why during some of the hardest years of my life, I didn’t have the papaw that I trusted more than anyone else to talk to.

Bad things happen in life. It might be the loss of a loved one, a disability that keeps you from achieving your goals in life, or a perceived lack of resources that keeps you away from reaching for your dreams.

Tonight in our text we’re looking at a time when Jesus encountered a man who had been born blind.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-2

Typically we look for answers, or a reason for dealing with hard things in life, so like typical people Jesus’ disciples thought that a problem could be more understandable if they asked Jesus, “why?” so they could assign blame for someone’s suffering.

At this time, and perhaps even today people would’ve thought that since this man had been born blind, this was God’s way of judging the sins of his parents. Or lets say for example this man would’ve lost his sight later in life, people would’ve assumed it was because of some sin in his life. In fact, look at Jobs example, throughout all of the terrible things happening in his life, those who were closest to him accused him of concealing sin in his life.

Jesus responds in a way that only God could, He say’s in verse 3,

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3

Jesus sidesteps the assignment of blame, and instead offers the grace of God in the face of a human need. Jesus is saying that because of the situation that this man is in, God’s power could be made known. I hope that every situation that I am ever in in this life could be so that God’s power, love, strength and goodness could be made known to others.

When Jesus mentions the works of God, it leads to His next statement that I want us to focus on for a few minutes.

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5

Jesus gives us a classic Jesus response, a world of information wrapped up in a few words. With this response Jesus says several things. Jesus foreshadows his death and resurrection on the cross. Early Christians would have read and been reminded that after the night, Jesus rose again from the grave (never forget this, in the darkest night the sun will rise in the morning. As faithful as the sunrise is Jesus is there)

Jesus includes his disciples in the work, and challenges them to continue the work once He is not with them anymore

6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. John 9:6-7

This part of the story can be kind of confusing why did Jesus spit on the ground and make mud, after all couldn’t jesus have just laid hands on the man? Why did he have the man go somewhere else to receive his full healing?

Im reminded of the woman with the issue of blood who simply touched the hymn of Jesus’ garment and was healed of a disease that she suffered with for years, and spent all of her money unsuccessfully trying to medicate.

Jesus’ action were two fold, He wanted to heal the man and restore sight to his eyes, but he also wanted to make a point with the Pharisees. The kneading of the clay would’ve under Mosiac Law constituted work, which would’ve been forbidden on the Sabbath day.

Jesus sent the man to the Pool of Siloam to bathe, This water source is significant because it represents who Jesus was. This pool had been dug by King Hezekiah from outside of the city, because of this pool the people who lived in Jerusalem had a continual source of life sustaining water. This mirrors who Jesus was for the people!

As we take a few minutes to examine our relationship with Jesus and our own circumstances in life. Instead of looking for the why, look for the ways that God can be glorified through you and your circumstances.

It’s easy to blame others or blame God, but instead, I urge to make a better choice and use the pain and frustrations of this life and seek for glorify God in all things.

After all, this is exactly what Jesus has done for each one of us.

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