Seth Whitmer
3 min readMar 21, 2024

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We are told that faith precedes the miracle, but I have learned that a trial of our faith also succeeds the miracle.

I was struck in reading John chapter 9, when Jesus healed a blind man. While the man who was blind now had the wonderful blessing of sight, he also had great tribulation poured down upon him by those who refused to accept the miracle from Jesus. We often think the miracle is the relief from tribulation, not an introduction to a greater need for faith.

I was first amazed at how Jesus healed the blind man. He was passing by the blind man and was asked by his disciples, “who did sin, this man, or his parent, that he was born blind?” (John 9: 2) It was the tradition that those born into such conditions, were due to the parent’s sins or to the individual’s sins before they were born. Therefore, they deserved the condition they were in. This man, from his birth, had been looked down upon and considered a sinner for being blind. Undeserving of pity, a second-rate member of society at best.

As usual, Jesus’s response broke all ill traditions of the time, “neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). Jesus went to the man and anointed his eyes with clay, and instructed him to then go and wash in the pool of Siloam. The man arose and did so and was healed. I was impressed that the man, in this instance, did not ask to be healed. In most of Jesus’s healings, where He steps forward to heal, it is because they asked for it (a sign of their faith), but in this instance, this did not happen. Instead, He asked the man to exercise his faith by getting up and going to the pool of Siloam and wash. Which when he had done it, he was healed. The miracle had occurred!

But this was only the beginning of the trial of his faith. For the Pharisees would now demand to know who broke the sabbath by performing such a work. For they believed that God would not perform miracles on the Sabbath. And so the man was questioned. Here, the man who had been blind, now had an opportunity for the first time in his life to be accepted. All he had to do was to denounce Jesus; besides, he didn’t know who He was. All he had to do was say that the miracle was not a miracle, or at least it was not a miracle performed by God, and then he would be accepted; what harm would be done, he could see now. His life had already been changed; what did it matter to denounce a miracle that he did not ask for? However, even through intense pressure, he never denounced the miracle or Jesus, whom he did not know. Because of it, he was cast out and rejected; once again, he found himself despised and alone.

Jesus, hearing of this, came to him and revealed who He was, and the man who had been blind believed and worshiped Him.

How often do we have miracles, but because of difficulties, we doubt and reject them? Perhaps the greatest faith is not the faith that precedes the miracle but the faith that comes after, the faith that requires us to continue to believe against all the intensity of doubt. It is then, after the trial of our faith that God can then reveal Himself to us.

As we approach this Palm Sunday, let us not forget the miracle of Jesus Christ, His gift of redemption and salvation.

I know that Jesus is the way of peace; in Him, we may find rest. Though we may go through great tribulation, He will never forsake us. His love has no bounds; His grace can overcome all. He will raise us up.

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Seth Whitmer

Hiram Seth Whitmer is a visionary leader and influencer with a passion for executing the complete turnaround of healthcare organizations