Redemptive Purposes


Often when there is an accident on the highway, the traffic slows because people are craning their necks trying to see the gory details, wanting to know what happened. In today’s passage, the disciples are rubbernecking at a blind beggar. And, assuming a common Jewish teaching that suffering was a result of sin, they questioned Jesus for the details. What must he have done? Or maybe it was his parents’ sin that caused his disability? In what must have been a surprising answer, Jesus pulls their focus away from the beggar, off of past causes, and shifts it to God’s future purposes.

  • How do you view hardship in your life? Do you dwell on the cause and the “why”?


9 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?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was wrong with the disciples’ question? How did Jesus redirect their question, and what was the profound perspective he revealed (vs. 3)?
  2. What did Jesus declare about himself (vs. 5)?
  3. In what way is verse 7 a glimpse of salvation?
  4. Describe the scene with the neighbors in your own words—what was happening?
  5. What situation in your life needs a shift in perspective? What difference would it make to stop dwelling on the “why” and, instead, focus on how God can be glorified through it?


Jesus wasn’t gawking; he truly saw the blind man, even though the man didn’t see him. This man’s physical blindness was a picture of the spiritual blindness of Israel. Though “the light of the world” had come among them, giving sight to the blind and healing the sick, they remained in darkness. This blindness was not because of sin, but to put the works of God on display. It was not for anyone to dwell on the why, but rather to look to how God would redeem the situation for good. And this mighty work and the man’s testimony caused his neighbors to investigate, to seek, and to consider Jesus.  

  • Pray that you would see life’s difficulties through God’s redemptive perspective and as an opportunity to bring him glory.