A Theology of Glory
by Impact Church
John 9:1-3 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
If God is all powerful and is opposed to evil then why does He allow evil to exist? That question has led many people to conclude that while God is good and opposed to evil, He is powerless to stop it and that we should forgive Him for His inability. Instead of blaming God for allowing evil or being powerless to stop it, people have also turned the blame to the attitudes and actions of people who are suffering. “You’re suffering because you did something wrong”; or “you are suffering because someone else has done this to you”. It was that way with Job’s and his 3 friends. They all lined up to give Job a lesson in theology: you are suffering God’s judgment because of some hidden sin in your life. Such is the case of the blind man in John 9.
Jesus’ disciples shared a common belief about physical maladies and suffering: “who sinned?” There were only two options: the sufferer is guilty, or someone else related to him has done something resulting in the suffering; in this case, his parents. Human suffering was defined by those two options.
What they weren’t prepared for was Jesus’ answer: this man was blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Suffering in humanity was present in a man so that Jesus could heal him and demonstrate that He was God. That is a shocking reason. And a stunning statement.
This story highlights that the circumstances of life are all judged and only truly known in light of the purposes of God and His character. Life and all that it contains should be seen in the light of the Glory of God. The revelation of His person changes everything. God’s glory is the standard that we have failed to meet, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and the reason that He redeems us from the fall, “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10).
Unlike the “blame it on somebody” thinking of the disciples, Jesus taught us to see the world in the light of God’s glory and purposes and trust Him in intervene in His timing and His ways. Then we can truly say, “To God Be the Glory!”