Today's mini-sermon is the 2nd of a 12-part series on the 9th chapter of John. It will be appearing in the Saturday, Sunday and Thursday additions of the Answers2Prayer newsletters.
“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’" (John 9:2)
You just heard that David next door has aids. What is your immediate reaction? He must have done some wicked things. Clair at work has lung cancer. Now didn’t she smoke? Your boss, Allan, just had a heart attack. No wonder with all those doughnuts he eats. And your brother, Tom, just received divorce papers. Well, the way he treated his wife, he deserved it! But wait. There’s something wrong with this reasoning! What if your 5 year old daughter needed a root canal (is this even possible??)? Would you immediately conclude that this comes from your mother-in-law’s side of the family? Because, I’m not sure just what mother-in-laws and root canals have in common! Or how about your 9 year old who just broke his leg in gym. Would you say, “You are just like your dad! You’re a real clutz!” (Ouch that hurts!)
Why is it so inherent in us to need to become specialists in diagnosing the causes of other people’s hardships and illnesses? Are we lily clean? What if it happened to one of us? What would others say about it? These are hard questions, my friends, for most of us would simply say: “You mean me? Never.”
One pastor used to tell those who tried to diagnose the cause of people’s problems: “You are so right. We are the only ones who are perfect, and I am the most perfect of all.” This quickly stopped any further discussion, as you can imagine.
What amazes me about the question the disciples posed is that one of the oldest books of the Bible clearly indicates what causes all the hardships in this life. Have you ever heard about Job? It’s quite an eye opener. The cause of all hardships and diseases are clearly outlined in this wonderful book: Job 1:9-11 9 "’Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’” Didn’t Jesus’ disciples read the Old Testament? But I can’t be too hard on them, for they were not the only ones who believed that any illness was a consequence of that person’s sin, or the sin of someone in their immediate family. The pastors of their day were preaching that concept openly! (Which shows that you had better read your Bible, because even your pastor can be in error!)
Instead of analyzing the hardships of others, we should be preparing ourselves for the devil’s attacks and helping others to overcome their hardships. We live in the enemy’s territory. Why do we live as if the enemy does not exist? Why do we blame others for things the enemy has done?
What good does it do to tell to someone who is on the verge to have a heart bypass: “I told you those President’s Choice chocolate cookies were bad news for you!” What good does it do to tell to someone who is dying of laryngeal cancer, “Those cigarettes surely killed you!” Even worse, what good does it do to blame someone for an illness or hardship they had nothing to do with? It would be like saying: “I told you not to get sick!" "I told you that you were good for nothing! Why did you have to fall from that ladder?!”
Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. Read your Bible and know the truth that comes from God. It will help you to avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary judgments! James 4:12 “Who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Do you think I should start dealing with more than 1 verse per mini-sermon? There are 41 verses in John 9!
In His love,
Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org