A group that was supposed to be supportive and encouraging could easily leave someone feeling hopeless and useless.
Reference: v.2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (NIV Bible)
Explore: I was once involved in a playgroup in our local community. Mothers with young children would all come together to play with their children as a whole group. It was a good way for mothers to get out of the house and socialise with other people in a similar stage of life. The only downside in having a group of people all with young children is they could not help but compare. One two-year-old was talking fluently yet another was still on single-word statements; one three-year old obeyed their parent's command where another was testing the boundaries; one child was sleeping straight through the night where another was still sleeping in their parent's bed. When the comparisons came out it was hard not to make a judgement on the parent. A group that was supposed to be supportive and encouraging could easily leave someone feeling hopeless and useless.
Application: When Jesus and his disciples were travelling around they noticed a man born blind. The disciples asked if the man was blind because of his sin or his parent's sin. If the question were asked today it would seem absolutely ridiculous. We know that birth defects are not caused because of someone breaking the law. However, in the time of Jesus, when science was not as advanced, it was common thought that someone was unwell or disabled due to their, or their parent's, salvation status. With today's advanced medical knowledge it seems ridiculous to think such things… and yet we still find ourselves making those kinds of judgements. How many people have thought that a young person is on drugs or breaking the law because of their parent's parenting skills? Or maybe a child throws a tantrum because their parents are not firm enough? It brings us back to the playgroup mums who could easily have made a judgement on a parent due to the development of their child. Fortunately for us it doesn't matter what our parents were like or what our medical status may be. Jesus desires to connect with all of us and nothing can get in his way.
Prayer: Lord, while we don't always understand why things take place, we thank you for being someone who looks beyond our past, our upbringing and our behaviour and looks straight to our hearts. Amen.
What are you allowing to get in the way of your relationship to Jesus?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.