John 5:1-14 – Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” This person who was an invalid for thirty-eight years was well known to people who visited the temple. He was always there, on his mat, hoping someone would help. The Jewish leaders allowed him to beg on the temple steps. The Sadducees and the Pharisees were understanding enough and merciful enough to allowed this. Now I wonder how many of the churches that we attend would allow the people who are invalids and needing help to sit outside our churches and beg and cry out to all those who pass by? Would our pastors and elders allow the needy, the truly needy to do this? Before and after services? Would we ourselves object to it? Is it too disturbing to see the hurt of others? Do we not want to feel the need to help even though God would want us to notice the need and to consider whether we could help, whether big or small? I’m not sure if I know of any church that I have attended would allow this. I know of at least one that I know chases them off their property. After all, the congregants would not want to be of our duty one to another. If that is us, how does that go along with Matthew 25:35-40 or Proverbs 3:27? The deep meaning behind these verses is not law, it is love and if we are without the love of God within us, then we are not God’s child. (1 John 4:8)
Jesus asked the invalid man if he wanted to be healed. At first this seems like a silly question. And maybe if we asked the question it would be silly. But this is Jesus, who knew all people, how they have lived their lives, and like the Samaritan woman at the well, He was asking questions to touch the soul. This man had lived as an invalid for thirty-eight years. It is very possible that he did not know if he would know how to live as a whole person. Maybe at first he hoped and prayed to be healthy and then after the many years of dashed hopes, the expectation within him of being healed had withered. Today, that can happen with us. Sometimes we can feel so beaten down that our hope has lost the “p” and has become a hoe that is a burdensome work that only seems to turn soil with no hope of producing a good crop. Perhaps we can become so beaten down that we don’t know if we would know how to survive even if things suddenly got miraculously better? Hurt and convenience may seem like all we know. Maybe this man once rushed for the stirring water and then began to not try as hard? Jesus wanted to change his perspective and let him know that his prayers were always heard and there was a day appointed for them to be answered. Perhaps that day was today. It is the state of mind that we need to live in, perhaps today the Lord will provide the answer. We already know that every day is a day for salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10) and so we know that every day is a day that God can move mightily in our favor. Every day God’s mercy is fresh and available. Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.” Sometimes the downtrodden need a touch from God and if we love God and are yielded to Him, then we should be willing to be that needed touch. (Matthew 5:42, 1 John 3:17-18) Some say they want no help and are happy, that is not always the truth. Sometimes we need to push.
As always the two greatest commandments reveal will of God for our life. (Mark 12:29-31) Let us love and help each other. Give to the poor and not only to those who can pay us back. Yes, we can loan, but when someone cannot pay back still give. After all the Lord has given to us and we cannot pay Him back. God who gave to us watches us. We know that God who gave to us can resupply every need that arises. (Malachi 3:10) After all, we have because He endlessly loves and gives. That is what we should do. He will direct us. Let us endlessly love and give. God will resupply as we walk in faith with Him. He really is so good to us. He really does love us. Jesus will show this invalid man the truth of that. Praise God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will Hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, Oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Numbers 6:24-26 – The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Corinthians, John, Lamentations, Malachi, Mark, Matthew, Micah, Numbers, proverbs, Psalm by Bob with