“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3 NIV)
When you focus on the wrong thing, you miss the point. Jesus is walking along with His boys when He says the above words. A blind man is sitting along the road. The disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2 NIV). Today’s scripture is His response: “Neither…”. The disciples focused on sin, the wrong thing. Jesus focused on God’s purpose. When we focus on sin, we miss God’s purpose.
When we focus on sin, we miss God’s purpose.
Magician’s use misdirection in their acts. After capturing the audience’s attention, the magician misdirects it to distract them. While the audience focuses on the misdirection, the magician does his trick. The trick isn’t magic. A good magician knows how to direct the audience’s attention at all times.
Satan uses misdirection as well. He wants us focused on people’s sin. He doesn’t want us focused on people. Satan knows, when we focus on other’s sin, we miss God’s purpose. Jesus gave us our purpose on earth with these words:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
Our purpose on earth: Love God, love others. The Greatest Commandment is simple. We make it complicated. Instead of loving the sinner, we condemn him. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Jesus looked past the sin, he loved the person. The disciples exemplify Jesus’s ability to use sinful people to accomplish God’s purpose through love.
Peter struggled with pride (Matthew 26: 33-35 NIV). Matthew was a tax collector (Mathew 9:9 NIV). Judas betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:14,16 NIV). Jesus loved them all, despite their sins. Saul of Tarsus, became Paul after he met Jesus. Saul tortured and killed Christians. He was an unbeliever who did unthinkable things. But Jesus loved him anyway:
“During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. “Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9: 3-6 NIV)
We are all sinners in need of grace. In our imperfection, Jesus loves us. As sinners, we strive to sin less, accepting we are not sin free. When we focus on sin, we miss God’s purpose for us: love.
Question of the Day:
Whose sin has stopped you from loving them?
Further Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15 NIV, John 9:1-41NIV, Psalm 113:1-114:8 NIV, Proverbs 15:15-17 NIV