Good Wednesday morning, Loved Ones! What a marvelous day to bask in the LORD’s lovingkindness and tender mercies!
Spending time in GOD’s Word is always enlightening and intriguing…sometimes humorous, and ouch!…sometimes stinging. Do you ever read Scripture passages and feel like and act like you’re watching a movie or a TV show? You become engaged with the characters, respond to what they say to and about each other and the (stupid) decisions they make. You voice your concerns out loud trying to steer them in the right direction…to no avail.
The scene opens in John 5:1…JESUS returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. After arriving in the city, He came upon an area, the pool of Bethesda. There, lying on the five porches surrounding the pool, crowds of blind, lame and paralyzed people wait for the angel of the LORD to come down and stir the water from time to time. JESUS engaged in conversation with a lame man, asking how long he’d been lying there sick. The man lamented that he’d been there for 38 (me…loooong) years!
Now, first of all, just imagine the discomfort of lying down on a little mat on some concrete for that length of time…because you’re too sick to do anything else! Wow! Take a minute to let that sink in.
Of course, when JESUS asked him how long he’d been there, He knew already but I believe that was to establish a point where hope would rise up in the man for the question He was about to ask, “Would you like to get well?”
The man’s response to the question, not a yes or no answer, but an excuse… “I can’t, sir, for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me,” …had me interrupting their dialog with my, “What…did you hear what JESUS asked you?! He didn’t ask you to explain why you’ve been there all that time. Listen…He asked you would you like to get well!!”
Finally, I pulled myself together so that I could read on. JESUS, full of unconditional, empathetic and compassionate love, told that man who’d been lying there on that concrete with all those other sick people for 38 years, “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat and walk!” The Scripture says that instantly, just like that, the man was healed. His years of lying there on that concrete, trying to be the first in the pool so he could be healed were ended. That day, he stood up and walked on the authority of GOD’s Word!
Wait a minute…Ouch, I just got a sting! Did you get one, too? The Holy Spirit reminded me that while I was showing out with my righteous indignation and all up in their conversation, there have been times that I’ve failed to say “yes” to JESUS when He invited me to trust Him to deliver me out of situations. Instead of, “Yes, LORD!”, I’ve spouted out my reasons why I’m in the situation. JESUS already knows all about my whys…and He knows all about your whys. They don’t matter to Him. He wants to deliver us from the complacency of lying down in our situations so that we will stand up straight, roll up our pitiful excuses and walk in the authority of GOD’s Word. JESUS is the Word!
Prayer: FATHER GOD, please forgive us when we’re so busy looking at and being complacent in our situations that we lose sight of You. Please help us focus on You only because You are the Light of life. In JESUS’ Name, we pray. Amen.
(Scripture focus: John 1:1-5; 5:1-9; 8:12 [NLT])
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Elder Gloria J. Hunter – Visionary/Steward/Servant in Leadership