Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Power of God (John 9:1-12)

“… that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3).

When Jesus met a blind man on the street, the disciples immediately wanted to know why the man was blind. Was it because of his sins? Was it because of his parent’s sins? Jesus told them it was neither. The man was blind so that God’s power might be revealed through his weakness. In the same way, Jesus humbled Himself, suffered the weaknesses of the flesh, and died to reveal the glory and power of God.

The purpose of Jesus’s life was clear to Him from the very beginning. His life would be one of sorrow, of suffering, and of death so that salvation would be given to those whom God had chosen. Jesus had no illusions about His life. He would not be a king, at least as the Jews wanted Him to be. He would not lead armies in battle against the Romans. Instead, He would be a suffering servant who would die for the sake of others. But His death was not the culmination of His life, for Jesus would rise again. The power of the Lord would break the chains of death, and Jesus would be resurrected in glory and reign as King forever.

In the same way, our suffering is a pathway to glory, not only in the life to come but in the present. One day we will be raised to glory like our Lord, but even now as we suffer, God’s power is revealed. How many saints have suffered in the name of Christ so that God’s power and glory might be revealed through their trials? The persecution of the early Christians in Jerusalem caused them to scatter and, as a result, take the Gospel to other regions. In their suffering, God revealed His power and purposes to bring others from distant nations into His kingdom. The Puritan pastors of England who fled to Europe when Queen Mary took the throne imbibed the doctrines of Calvinism during their exile. When they returned, God used them to spread the truth and to develop a new form of government that eventually saw its fruit in the new world. The examples go on and on. Needless to say, our suffering plays a much bigger part than any of us can imagine. God will reveal His power, and often He does so through our pain—just as He revealed the power of redemption through the suffering and death of His only Son.

Sometime this week get hold of a biography of a Christian who suffered for the sake of the Gospel (e.g., Jim Elliot, Eric Liddell). Ask your pastor for a recommendation. If you have children, read the biography together. As you read it, notice how God’s power is revealed in that person’s life.