Still thinking (meditating) on John 9 - not John 8 as I listed before. I read the NIV translation today and focused primarily on verses 1-3:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
I love that Jesus didn't just clear up the wrong-thinking of the disciples, but He went further. He told the disciples that the blind man's circumstance had a purpose! This blind man was to be an "exhibition" and "an eye-catching arrangement." He was going to be used to "expose to view" the work of God, not only in his life, but in his community!!! His ugly, sin-looking circumstance was about to usher in the "display" of God's handiwork.
I know that I have some ugly circumstances in my life right now, and I need Jesus to show up and see me like he saw the blind man. I need Him to stand up and defend my cause, and it is my hope that the circumstances that I am facing will be a dramatic and showy display of His work!!!!
Do you believe that perhaps the curses in your life are purposed? Does it encourage you that those circumstances could be used to show God's work?
Further study: Of course, many of us would say that the disciples were being extremely rude, but I challenge you to find the source of this belief. Read Exodus 20:5 and Job 21:19 to see what the Jews believed about sin. This wasn't the first time that Jesus had to deal with this belief of the effects of sin passing down from parent to child. In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus deals with other questions about sin and how people are punished. He had to change their view of God, because He was bringing in a new covenant as described and prophesied in Isaiah 31:29-30 and Ezekiel 18:2-4.