Who Did Sin?


And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (John 9: 1-3) Jesus then heals the man.

There are at least two great lessons taught in these three short verses. If you don’t “study” the scriptures, but just “read” them, you might miss one of them.  What lessons do we learn? The most obvious one is that people born with disabilities are not being “punished” for some sin that they have committed. Nor are their parents! This point is made very clear by the Savior, and yet, I think often, we as members believe that those who have not been given trials have somehow been more faithful.  It is easy to think that when trials come upon us that it is a result of our sin, or wrong choices.  Or perhaps when trials come upon us, maybe the Lord doesn’t love us as much as  someone whose life seems to be sailing along. One man who faced accusations because of his trials was Job. As his friends began to turn on him and accused him of being a sinner he laments:

“My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure… Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God”. (Job 16:16,17,19,20).

And so Job, a great man of God, found himself on the short end of life.  Once blessed, then cursed, even his friends stood as accusers that trials came upon him because he, “must” have done something wrong. It is important to remember that our lives are subject to the laws of nature. Bad things happen to good people. On occasion these, “bad things” are a result of sin, but most often they are the result of living. The plan has been put in place and we are now in the mist of living it.

Later, after passing the test,   the Lord gives Job back more than he previously had.  For him, justice was seen in his lifetime.  But often it isn’t! Those who lie and cheat often get ahead in this life.  But soon we will reach the end of this life’s journey and judgement day will be upon us all.

We should not become discouraged when we are faced with trials.  It’s usually not something we have done wrong. We haven’t fallen out of favor with the Lord. It’s probably, “just life”. Have faith in the Lord’s promises! Have faith in the plan of salvation! Have faith in God our Father!

(Point two of John 9: 1-3 is that if man didn’t come from a pre-existence, how could a man be guilty of sin before he was born! This doctrine and knowledge of the pre-existence is a blessing of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.)


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