Suffering and sickness in the Holy Bible – Part 13
Reasons For Believers’ Sickness (Cont’)
“And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-5)
13:5 Whether a person is killed in a tragic accident or miraculously survives is not a measure of righteousness. Everyone has to die; that’s part of being human. But not everyone needs to stay dead. Jesus promises that those who believe in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (Jn 3:16)
(2) God may permit sickness for a divine purpose
“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (Jn. 9:1-3)
“Works of God … should be revealed.” Jesus corrects the disciples’ erroneous belief that every serious affliction is the result of some sin. At times, sickness does result from a serious sin (5:14), but not always. Sometimes suffering is permitted because of a divine purpose, i.e., to display God’s mercy, love and power. Often in the world the innocent suffer when the wicked do not (cf. Ps 73:1-14; see article on The Suffering of the Righteous)
A common belief of Jewish culture was that calamity or suffering was the result of some great sin. But Christ used this man’s suffering to teach about faith and to glorify God.
We live in a fallen world where good behaviour is not always rewarded and bad behaviour not always punished. Therefore, innocent people sometimes suffer. If God took suffering away whenever we asked, we would follow him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and devotion. Regardless of the reasons for our suffering, Jesus has the power to help us deal with it. When you suffer from a disease, tragedy or disability, try not to ask, “Why did this happen to me?” or “What did I do wrong?” Instead, ask God to give you strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is happening.
(3)Sickness can result purely from satanic attack (Job 2:7; Lk 13:16)
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1).
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