“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.” John 5:8 NKJV
We need a physician – a healer. Not a shot, not social distancing or covering our faces. We NEED The Healer – The Creator – a real and living God and not an idol or vain imaginations of humanism. <-Those are the same words as yesterday. And here we have a mighty healer!
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of John, chapters 5, (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Which Gospel do I personally like the best? It changes from season to season in my life – but John is my favorite more often than the others. That man LOVES God and it shows! I got carried away and read the whole book just looking for all the places John’s personal love of Christ exudes onto these pages. At times it is so tender and sweet – other times John seems protective and vigilant. The same way the father loves us – it is true love. Something we do not see often enough in the world we live in.
I have always enjoyed the story of The Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda. Even when I was a youth I could see that this story could have happened in so many other ways. The overview (but read it yourself) is that a lame man was at this pool for lots of years and wanted to be healed. Now let’s look at some of the details.
Jesus rolls into town to this pool on the Sabbath. It did not need to be the Sabbath – Jesus could have come the day before or the day after because this man was lame and had no one to help him or care for him – the man was stuck there. But Jesus picked that day – knowing it would make the Pharisees angry that He healed on the Sabbath. I know the show “The Chosen” has this tied in with a story about Simon the Zealot, but that was creative writing and I do not see that thread in the Bible itself (I could be wrong). In the show, it had to happen that day to save Simon’s life. In the book of John – It could have happened at any day or time. Jesus picked the Sabbath and is almost taunting the Pharisees.
Another detail – this bath was a temple to a pagan god!!! There were cripples and beggars in the streets all over the city and Jesus went into the pagan bath. If He just wanted to heal on the Sabbath, He had many candidates… it is like He just wanted to taunt the Pharisees all the more by going into such a place.
In modern American terms – it would be like going to the holistic herbal shop run by the local witches’ coven to look at one of the locals who hang out there in hopes that someday they might be healed and healing them on Sunday morning when you are supposed to be at church – when on Saturday you could have gone to the local hospital and healed all the people you wanted.
I can hear “those Christians” saying: First of all, get to church. 2nd you know you can’t go in that shop! 3rd – healing?! You can’t heal! It is Christ through you….
Yeah. Well make sure God told you to before you march into that place and pull out your sword!
But it definitely seems like Jesus was instigating some of the trouble He faced. I know it needed to happen in order to land Him on the cross – where He did say – He was responsible for going there. They did not kill Him but He laid down His life. So now we are really thinking and seeing the bigger picture… Lets look more at it.
This man who was healed – He was a Jew. He was fearfully and wonderfully made, by God Himself. God had a plan and purpose for His life. At some point it took the man into this bathhouse and there on the very day Jesus needed him there. Jesus needed to do this healing so that Jesus’s journey would land at the cross. This man’s life and suffering had a divine purpose. This man had no one to care for Him and yet God provided by getting him to this pool, where people gave food to these sick people.
So when we bring things up to a larger picture – we can see how maybe our own suffering has a purpose in His plan. The Bible said we are created to glorify God – and could God have been more glorified than by this poor man being healed – and it contributing to the work of the cross.
Many times we think of our suffering and count it as sharing in the sacrifice and suffering of the cross – when it was this man’s healing that shared in the work of the cross!!! This man contributed towards my salvation, and yours.
Often we forget the work of the cross is grace transforming us – transforming Jesus from man to sin and sacrifice to victorious overcomer of death. The cross changed me from sinner to counted righteous – the old man has passed away and behold all things become new.
Moreover in most of Jesus’s healings we can see a similar connection to the cross showing just how outside of time God is – that a cross that brings healing can heal before it happens! That the victory won there we still have not seen here. That even in the book of Genesis we can see evidence of the “Red Thread” or the work of the cross and Jesus – and we can see Christ throughout every book thereafter! In times like these – let us be encouraged that all things work for the good – ALL THINGS; even things that happed thousands of years ago.
Many a time, I found myself a spiritual cripple in a place I should not have been, like the pool of Bethesda – and every time, no matter what day, or what time, Jesus came marching in and scooped me up. He healed the physical and the emotional and the spiritual. Every time. Because even after we look at his from a more global view and see how it contributed to the cross and our own salvation – there is still a very personal touch. God made this man for such a time as that and God sent Jesus in for him specifically – not any of the other cripples all over the streets of that city – and not for any other person at that pool.
What did God make us for? We know we were fearfully and wonderfully made – but for what? Could our seemingly worthless simple existence actually contribute to a major work of Grace, like this man’s life? I am sure at times this man wished he was dead or that he didn’t exist – but I am thankful he lived. Because my Jesus was able to find and heal him – so my Jesus could be accused of healing on the Sabbath, so my Jesus could hang on a cross and victoriously deliver me!!! And that now through Christ – I can have a restored and personal relationship with God who loves me enough to go through all of that for me. And for you.
We are made to glorify God. Oh Lord, be glorified in our lives. In Jesus Name we pray ~amen
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year. As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!
NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: John 5 NKJV
A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda
5 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, [a]Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, [b]paralyzed, [c]waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Honor the Father and the Son
16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, [d]and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
Life and Judgment Are Through the Son
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
The Fourfold Witness
31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not [e]true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”