Lent 2023, Day 27: That the works of God may be displayed.

Photo by Danny Nee on Unsplash

This week’s Sunday School lesson was about the Blind Man who was healed by Jesus. I like sharing this story, even though I’m disabled. Maybe I like it because I’m disabled. It’s so affirming for me to tell people the words of my Lord, that:

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

John 9:3
The Blind Man Mask Craft I gave the kids to do. (From Crafting the Word of God)

Randy Alcorn writes about God and healing at Eternal Perspectives:

A writer friend was at an event many years ago when he witnessed the following: He was standing near a woman confined to a wheelchair. Suddenly a well-known woman, who had written and spoken extensively about her gift of healing, marched up to the lady in the wheelchair, dramatically laid hands on her head, and prayed loudly that God would heal her, claiming God’s promises to do so.

The healer’s entourage enthusiastically agreed with the prayer, some praying in tongues. After this went on for a while, finally they backed away, and the celebrity went on to the next interview, book signing, or healing.

God has shaped this woman in the wheelchair into the image of Christ and used her mightily through her disability. When the crowd dispersed someone asked her, “Did you feel anything happen?” My friend says he heard her answer: “Yes. My neck really hurts because she pushed down on my head so hard.”

The dear sister continues to love and serve Christ faithfully from her wheelchair.

I have seen God heal miraculously. I have also seen so-called healings which “didn’t last” the next hour or day or week, and therefore, in my opinion, were not true healings. And the “healer,” who loudly and without invitation to do so claimed her healing, either has or soon will succumb to the ultimate health problem: death.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

What Does the Bible Say About Healing?

In John 9:2, Christ’s disciples revealed their false assumptions when they asked “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus responded by saying their presupposition was entirely wrong: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3). In other words, God had a higher purpose for this man’s adversity that simply didn’t fit in the neat little boxes of “Do good (or have faith) and you’ll be well off” and “Do bad (or don’t have enough faith) and you won’t be.”

Jesus said of His Father in Heaven, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). In other words, God extends His common grace to all. The air breathed by every man, sinner, or saint is God’s gift, regardless of the man’s morality. Likewise suffering may be equally distributed among the righteous and unrighteous—but God will use it for the good of the righteous, and likely the unrighteous too, drawing them to Him, should they respond in faith.

Adversity Theology

In verses you will never see embroidered, or framed or posted on refrigerators, the King promised persecution, betrayal, flogging, and the opportunity to being dragged before courts and tried for our faith (Matthew 10:16-20). He warned, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), and said, “Any of you who does not give up everything sometimes our health, sometimes our life) he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

In Philippians, written from a prison—not a plush office or the Rome Hilton—Paul said, “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (1:29). He then depicted Christ as the suffering Servant, whose ultimate prosperity came after His life on this earth, not during it (Philippians 2). Indeed, had Jesus laid claim to prosperity in this life, there would have been no crucifixion, no atonement, no gospel, and no hope for any of us.

Read the rest here.

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