“What’s your take on John 9:3? When it says that this man was blind so that the power of God would be revealed, it doesn’t mean God made him blind. Right?”
I get asked this question a lot, and I’m thankful that Catherine allowed me to answer it here so that the answer to this question can be known to more people who are asking it. The answer is, no. God did not cause the man in John 9:3 to be blind.
Psalm 103:1-5 reads, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
God heals all of our diseases and delivers us from our iniquities. If God heals of all of our diseases, why would he give us diseases? Such a notion is patently absurd. Jesus, when he was on this earth, gave us a glimpse of the mind of God, not just in revelation, but in day-to-day life. Thus, Jesus revealed God to us in a different way than the prophets before him, for at this time, God dwelt among us in the flesh.
So, let us consider his words, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges (Matthew 12:25-28).”
Jesus was responding to the accusation that he was casting out devils by invoking the power of Beezlebub (Satan). Jesus, however, showed the flaw in their logic. If Beezlebub was the one who put the demons there in the first place, why would Beezlebub cast them out, for Beezlebub would be going against his own will. Thus, Beezlebub would be divided against himself, and his kingdom would not stand.
Just the same, if God made the man in John 9:3 blind, why would he heal his blindness? With Jesus, who is God in the flesh, we got a glimpse in Matthew 12 of how God would answer such a question. Clearly, God creating a man blind and then healing him of his blindness would divide God’s kingdom against itself, and by the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we know that God sees being divided against onself as foolish. Thus, we can conclude, without a doubt, that God did not make the man in John 9:3 blind.
What then, of his purpose for the man in John 9:3? John 9:1-3 reads, “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.”
Jesus said that God’s purpose for this man being born blind is so the works of God would be made manifest in him. This, however, does not mean that God made the man blind. Throughout scripture, we see instances where God repurposes the actions of others for his own will. For example, Genesis 50:20 when Joseph says to his brothers who threw him in a well and sold him into slavery, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” So, the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers were attributed to them, but the good that came out of those evil actions was attributed to God. Thus, when someone does evil, God works that evil to the greater good.
Wasn’t placing the Lord of Glory on the cross evil? It was, but God used that event to fulfill his promises of the atonement of sins for all mankind. Just the same, the blindness of the man that was the result of the fall of man was used to display the works of God in him.