Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” John 9:3 NABRE
Jesus is walking with His disciples and they ask a question that was common belief at the time. Is the man born blind because of the sin of his parents or his own sin? The belief held was that if you had some kind of affliction then you likely did something to offend God and the affliction was God’s punishment. The offense could be committed by the person afflicted or their parents. Imagine believing you did something to offend God causing someone you love to have an ailment for their entire life. I have met many people with disability along with their families and you can get a sense that there may be some personal blame when a parent has a child with disability. Jesus’ response has to stop his listeners in their tracks. It is neither his nor his parents’ sin but rather that the works of God may be made visible through him. Jesus then restores the blind man’s sight and we may think this is the works of God Jesus meant. But, there is more to consider. How much can we learn from someone with a disability? If you know a family with a Down syndrome child they will tell you that the child has transformed their family. People with disability don’t have to be “healed” for us to see the works of God, their presence and gifts can awaken us to what is most important. We can see the person with a disability as a teacher of the heart.
Paul tells us that God chose the weak and the foolish to shame the strong and wise (see 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.) It does not mean they are more precious to God, rather we must know that everyone is precious in the eyes of God. God depends on everyone’s ability and disability to lead us to love, compassion, tenderness and goodness.
Do you have a disability? What are your abilities?People with disability don't have to be “healed” for us to see the works of God, their presence and gifts can awaken us to what is most important. Click To Tweet
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