Jesus and His disciples were walking one day, and they passed a man, blind from birth, sitting and begging by the way.

“Master,” they asked Jesus, “Why was he born blind? Was it for his own sin, or the sins of his parents?”Jesus replied that neither this man’s sins nor his parent’s sins were the cause of his blindness; it happened so that the power of God could be seen in him. “I must do the tasks assigned Me by the One Who sent Me. The night is coming, when no man can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the Light of the world,” He told them.

Sadly, the reaction of the disciples when they saw this unfortunate man is typical of many Christians. It is what I would call a works-based view of God, and it is based on the thought that God will reward the good and punish the bad. When we come up against suffering or misfortune in our own lives, our immediate thought is that we must have done something wrong, something to displease God; and of course, with this mindset, when we see others in misfortune, we think the same of them.

Jesus said that He was the Light, come into the world not to condemn, but to save. The condemnation comes to those who love their darkness and refuse the Light that has come.

In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus points out to His disciples that our Father in Heaven makes His sun shine on the evil and on the good, and sends rain to the just and the unjust. “Be perfect (or generous), as your Father in Heaven is perfect (or generous),” He said.

And when once our view of God is changed, when we see His love and compassion, His desire to save all men from sin and darkness, our whole perspective changes. We know without a shadow of a doubt that all His blessings to us, salvation and a transformed life, are totally Grace– rich, abundant, undeserved Grace. And, knowing this, we see others, whatever their circumstances, as candidates for the Grace of God. We long that they, too, might discover what we have discovered.

So the poor blind beggar, whatever he thought about his own condition, and whatever others thought about him, was about to become living proof of the power of God, a testament to God’s grace. He was to find that grace sometimes brings great sacrifices, but always brings eternal rewards.

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