We are not witnesses to too many miracles these days. I am not certain why that is. Our society today needs as many convincing proofs now as they might have needed in Jesus’ time. However, we are often left as beggars when it comes to God’s amazing work through the physical body or miraculous circumstances.
When Jesus encounters the blind man, the disciples wanted to know what was the reason for his blindness. Had he sinned? Had his parents sinned? What exactly was the cause? I suppose this exposes their former belief system as well as their continued limited new belief paradigm. It was often thought that physical maladies were a result of some personal or familial spiritual shortcoming, ala David and the child he had with Bathsheba (2Samuel 12-21). However, Jesus offers a third alternative – “That the works of God might be displayed in him (John 9:3).” That is, that God may be the focus and receive the glory for what is about to happen.
[There are frequent times when we desire, hunger, even beg for God’s miracle work to be done. Usually it centers around healing. This was Jesus’ most frequent miracle, so naturally, we lean that direction. I think, at least for me, secretly in my heart I suppose surely something happened that this person is afflicted like they are. As a result, much of my prayer is colored by language of forgiveness rather than language toward God’s glory. That is not accurate thinking I know, but that is the truth. It is also probably a result of my own circumstances and how my tendency is to look at sin in my life as the cause of these circumstances.]
Jesus heals the blind man and it causes all sorts of confusion. The Pharisees wanted to know who and what. The man’s parents were perplexed – “We have no idea. Yes it is our son who was born blind but how he now sees, you’ll need to ask him(John 9:18ff).” Out of frustration and ignorance, the Pharisees tell the man, “Give glory to God (v.24).” Which is exactly the reason Jesus did the miracle in the first place, however, they sought God’s glory on a different basis.
Even though the significance and impact of the story continues for some time, there is an interlude where Jesus seeks out the now-seeing man (v. 35ff) and challenges his belief. Jesus asks him if he believes in the Son of man? The man responds with, “Who is he sir that I may believe?” And Jesus says — don’t miss this — “You have seen him and it is he who is speaking with you.” The now seeing man replies, “Lord, I believe.” There it is…”That the works of God may be displayed (v.3).”
It is true. We do not witness many miracles today of the nature we have just spoken about. However, perhaps one of the greatest miracles is our faithful living out of the effect of the gospel in our lives. That truly is a miracle. That is, without a doubt, an act that must certainly give glory to God.