And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?…
Observe how little disconcerted our Lord was by the most violent enmity. Almost the moment after He had escaped stoning, He paused before and healed the blind man. One of His most noticeable characteristics was His marvellous calmness in the presence of His foes. The reasons were —
1. He was never elated by the praise of men.
2. His unbroken communion with the Father.
3. His heart was so set upon His work that He would not be turned from it. Note —
I. THE WORKER — a well-earned title.
1. There are many who ignore sorrow. The easiest thing to do with wicked London is not to know much about it. There are sights which might melt a heart of steel and make a nabob generous. But it is an easy way of escaping from the exercise of benevolence to shut your eyes. It is not so with Jesus. He has a quick eye to see the blind beggar if He sees nothing else.
2. There are others who see misery but instead of diminishing it, increase it by cold logical conclusions. Poverty they say is brought on by drunkenness, laziness, etc. Sickness is caused by wicked habits and neglect of sanitary laws. This may be true, but don't teach it till you are ill yourself. The disciples held this view and Job's comforters. Cheap moral observations steeped in vinegar make a poor dish for an invalid. But Christ "Upbraided not."
2. Others, who if not indifferent or cruel to sorrow, speculate where speculation is worthless. There is the question of the origin of evil. Such was the subject here proposed — foreseen guilt or hereditary taint? The master breaks up the fine speculation by practical service. "Father," said a boy, "the cows are in the corn. How ever did they get in?" "Boy," said the father, "never mind how they got in, let us hurry to get them out." Postpone the inquiries till after the day of judgment, just now our business is to get evil out of the world. A man saw a boy drowning and lectured him on the imprudence of bathing out of his depth. Let us rescue him and tell him not to go there again.
3. In this nonspeculating, kind, helpful spirit, let us imitate the Master. What have we done to bless our fellow men? But if Jesus be such a worker what hope there is for us who need His services!
II. THE WORKROOM. Every worker needs a place to work in. Christ selected the fittest place.
1. One of the works of God is creation, and if Jesus is to perform it He must find out where something is missing which He can supply. The blind man gave occasion for Christ to give sight. If there is anything wanting in you there is room for Christ to work; if you are perfect there is no room.
2. This man's ignorance required almighty aid. God can not only create, He can illuminate. This man was as dark in mind as in body. He did not know the Son of God. Is that your case? Are you converted? Then there is space in you for Christ to work by converting grace. If you were not lost, you could not be saved.
3. All affliction may be regarded as affording opportunity for the mercy work of God. Whenever you see a man in trouble, do not blame him and ask how he came there, but say "He is an opening for God's almighty love." And do not kick at or be east down by your own afflictions, regard them as openings for mercy, and the valley of Achor shall be a door of hope. Sin itself makes room for God's mercy. How could the unspeakable gift have been bestowed if there had been no sinners.
III. THE WORK BELL. You hear in early morning a bell which arouses the workers from their beds. Christ's work bell was the sight of the blind man. Then he said "I must work." The man had not said anything, but his sightless eyeballs spoke eloquently to the heart of Jesus.
1. Why must He work? Because —
(1) He had come all the way from heaven on purpose.
(2) He had inward impulses which forced Him to work.
2. Let us learn this lesson. Wherever we see suffering, feel "I must work."
3. What a blessing if you want to be saved to know that there is an impulse on Jesus to save!
IV. THE WORK DAY.
1. This is meant of our Lord's earthly life. There was a certain day on which He could bless men, and that over He would be gone. He occupied thirty years in getting ready for it, and then in three years it was done. And how much He crowded into them! Some of us have had thirty years of work and have done very little; what if we have only three more. It we omit any part of our life work we can never make up the omission. No appendix is possible to the book of life.
2. If our Lord was so diligent to bless men while here, He is not less diligent now.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?