[Jesus’] disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him’. (verses 2,3)
Read John 9:1-41
The Buddhist concept of karma describes a spiritual cycle of cause and effect, a belief that ultimately ‘what goes around comes around: Of course, there is some truth to this. Actions have consequences. But is it that simple?
Many people in the ancient world operated with a similar outlook. They believed that people basically got what they deserved. This thinking is behind the question that Jesus’ disciples ask him about the blind man: ‘Who sinned, this man or his parents?’ Who is to blame? Jesus refuses to play that game. Rather, he addresses the man and heals him; first physically and later spiritually. He shows that God is at work in and through suffering.
We tend to fall into the karma trap all too easily. ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ we wonder. But God does not work that way. He is always seeking to give us something better than we deserve. He wants us to have more than we could ask or imagine.
God operates by grace, not by karma.
Gracious God, thank you that you reveal your mercy and might through your Son Jesus Christ. Help me in the things I suffer to see your purpose and your will for me. Give me spiritual sight to walk by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Devotion by Ben Pfeiffer from “Time Out … with Jesus” (Australian Church Resources, 2014)
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