God Often Displays His Glory In Human Physical Defects

Sadly, children born with physical defects make some people uncomfortable. Even more heartbreaking is the reality that this discomfort often turns to disgust and drives people to abort/murder their innocent children on account of physical problems. However, this idea that some people are lesser because they have physical deformities is a lie refuted by Jesus Christ himself. In John 9, we learn of a blind man who Jesus healed, but not before addressing His disciples’ mistaken idea that the man was blind because he or his parents had sinned:

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”  (John 9:1-3, NKJV)

Through these words, Jesus informed his followers that not all physical ailments are punishments from God. Rather, he taught them that physical disabilities are often used by God as amplifiers for His glory (John 9:3).

We cannot begin to understand the high and lofty purposes of God in such situations. God alone knows how to bring Himself the most glory, so we must rest in His sovereignty, knowing that no matter the amount of our physical imperfections, we are nevertheless “skillfully wrought” by His hand (Ps. 139:15).

Perhaps we should begin to realize that physical imperfections exist to remind us of exactly that: We are imperfect. We are fallen beings, and although each human possesses the indelible image of God, our souls and bodies attest to the fact that we are fallen creatures (Eph. 2:1). While some people’s physical bodies display this truth more visibly than others, apart from Jesus Christ the souls of all humans are equally depraved and deformed by sin (John 6:44).

The problem is a misunderstanding of sin’s true effects on both the body and soul. People disgusted with physical defects in others totally fail to see just how deformed they themselves are in the sight of a holy God. The Bible teaches that all humans, without exception, are utterly marred by sin and altogether unlovable (Rom. 3:23). Though we deserve only Hell, God the Father crushed His Son Jesus, laying on Him the just penalty for our sin (Rom. 6:23; Is. 53:10; 1 John 2:2).

The blind man in John 9 sat helplessly by the road, unable to seek out Jesus or even see Him. We have the same problem. Through this story, we are confronted with our own inability to come to God, as well as our total blindness to that problem. Thankfully, Christ sought us. He has covered our spiritual deformities with His own perfect righteousness, redeeming us from the righteous wrath of God against sin. When we were utterly powerless to save ourselves, the glory of God’s grace in Christ was all the more splendidly displayed in us.

That’s why we should want the children society deems as the “least of these,” precisely because such precious children remind us of Jesus’ teaching that God’s glory is most beautifully displayed when we are at our weakest.

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Theology and Ethics