Why Do Bad Things Happen? (John 9:1-3)

Why Do Bad Things Happen? (John 9:1-3)

Jesus and His disciples now come across a man who was born blind. The disciples ask Jesus why this happened. “Why do bad things happen?” is a huge question that all human beings wrestle with. The disciples believed that all bad things were a direct punishment for sin. In their understanding, either God was punishing this man for some sin he committed before he was born, or God was punishing the man’s parents for their sin by giving them a blind child. The disciples want to know, “Why do bad things happen?”

Not all bad things are the direct punishment of sin

The Bible is full of examples of men and women who were directly punished for their sin. God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead for lying. He struck Herod with worms for his pride. He gave Miriam leprosy for her rebellion. David’s child died because of his sin with Bathsheba. However, Jesus’ answer is clear. Not all bad things are God punishing us for a particular sin. Job experienced much pain and suffering, but it was not a punishment for sin.

God is sovereign over all things including bad things

Jesus tells the disciples that this blindness was orchestrated by God. This rubs us the wrong way, but we cannot escape the truth. God is sovereign over all things. Even Satan cannot attack Job without God giving him the permission to do so. God is the Potter and can do with the clay as He pleases. The Scripture is very clear; God rules over all things, including evil.

There is a purpose in human suffering

Although this man’s blindness caused him and his parents much suffering, God had a purpose for it all. Even in Job’s suffering God was at work to bring about His desired end. In Romans 8 we read that God uses all things, including suffering, for the good of His people. As our Potter He orchestrates our lives to be conformed to the image of His Son.

God is working to display His glory

The man was born blind so that he might be a vessel used to display the glorious works of God. He is blind so that God’s glory might be seen in him and by him. God orchestrates every detail of our lives so that we might seek Him. As a Master Potter He uses all things in our lives, including pain and suffering, to display His glory in us. The end result of it all is that we, like Job, are able to see God’s glory.


Will you commit your life to a Good and Sovereign God? Will you trust Him in your suffering?


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