“Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2–3 NAS95)
The word that is translated “displayed” (φανερόω) here means: to make known, to make plain, to reveal, to bring to light, to disclose, revelation”(Louw-Nida). This got me wondering, if the man who was blind from birth was blind so that God’s works might be displayed in him. What other things does the New Testament say are displayed (caused to become known – BDAG) with reference to God?
- “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:11, ESV)—Jesus displayed his glory when he turned water to gallons and gallons of wine.
- “I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17:6, HCSB)—Jesus revealed God’s name (in Hebrew culture “name” represented all that one stood for) to “the men You gave me.”
- “But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed —attested by the Law and the Prophets —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.” (Romans 3:21–22, HCSB)—God revealed his righteousness in Jesus Christ.
- “I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:25–27, HCSB)—God revealed the mystery hidden for ages and generations (that Gentiles can come to faith through Christ!).
- “The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.” (1 John 3:8, HCSB)—One of God’s purposes in the revelation of Jesus Christ was “to destroy the Devil’s works.”
These are some of the things that God has chosen to reveal/make known/display. I think the takeaway point is this: whatever is revealed, whatever has become known about God has been revealed/manifested/displayed at the good pleasure of God himself. Whether God chose to display his works through a blind man who is healed, or his righteousness in Jesus Christ, or his glory, or his name, or the mystery hidden for ages—that Gentiles can come to faith in Jesus Christ!—all of these resound to God’s glory and honor. He has chosen to display/reveal these things.
His initiative. Our benefit. This makes me happy, or, as my grandson Kian would say, “this makes my heart happy.”