In Jesus’ day, it was a common belief that if a person suffered an illness or had a child with some sort of disability, that person was being punished for sin. So the disciples’ question, while seemingly insensitive, isn’t out of line. Their main curiosity was who sinned—the parents or the child? Considering an unborn child can’t sin, the blame would seem to rest on the parents. But why make the child suffer for the sins of the parents? That doesn’t seem like something a loving God would do. And the truth is, He didn’t.
There are times when a choice we make results in unpleasant consequences, and if the choice is a sinful one, there’s pretty much a guarantee there will be an unpleasant consequence. Other times someone else’s sin trickles over and affects us negatively. Sin never results in anything good. God, as a loving parent, allows us to experience the consequences for our choices. If children have to deal with the effects of their choices, and the effect ends up being painful, they’ll choose more wisely the next time. Choosing wisely is part of maturity. But that wasn’t the situation in this particular man’s case. Remember I said God allows us to face the consequences of our choices? Sometimes He allows other things—seemingly “not good” things—because He knows the end result will be something good. We’ll look at that tomorrow.