In John 9, the disciples ask Jesus about the man born blind, questioning who was responsible – his sin or his parents’ sin. In essence, they are trying to figure out the reason for the bad thing (blindness) that took place. Job’s friends did the same thing to Job, thinking he had to have sinned in some way for all the bad things to have happened to him. In Acts when Paul was bitten by a serpant, the people watched to see him die thinking he was getting his just rewards as he had to be some kind of horrible sinner. And we continue to do the same thing in our lives when bad things happen – “what did I do to deserve this?” we question. Now maybe, the bad things happenening are in fact due to the a poor decision or consequence of a sinful choice. Or it could be a way of God growing you or pointing you back to Him.
But sometimes, bad things just happen…period.
We live in a fallen world with fallen people and things happen all the time that we just can’t and won’t understand, no matter how much we wrestle for answers or try to spiritualize it. Some, when they realize they can’t find an answer to satisfy their minds, turn away from God and allow the question/problem of suffering to cloud their minds.
Don’t ever let the things you don’t know or understand, pull you from the truth of what you do know and do understand. We know Jesus loves us, we know He is good, we know He is sovereign, and we know He is in control. We also know He doesn’t cause people to sin or seeks to be spiteful or hateful. We know He is always there for us and we can find peace and rest in Him (key note: in Him, not in our own answers). We know that none of us even deserve His mercy and goodness.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Better question may be why do good things happen to bad people (like you and me)?
So when Jesus said “neither” to the disciples question of “who sinned?”, He was telling them bad things aren’t always the result of someone’s doing. He then went on to do the works of God in healing the man and in the midst of our pain and suffering, He can do the same thing as well.