Monday, May 14, 2012

Lord of the Sabbath

John 5:1-15
The Healing at the Pool

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 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. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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?” “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.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk? The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 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.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Location: Jerusalem, The Sheep Gate, The pool. Do you want to get well? That's the question that Jesus asks, but the answer the invalid gave was "I have no one to help me". What was this man thinking; Jesus, are you here to help me get in the pool? But that's not what Jesus asked.  Jesus said, "do you want to get well"; he did not say, do you need help getting in the water?

We sometimes miss what God is saying to us because we have our own agenda in mind. Often we filter what the Lord is saying to us based on what we think we need. This man did not need and escort, he needed the Deliverer. Gods ways and thoughts are higher than ours.  (Isaiah 55:9)

Here is a man crippled for over 38 years. He waits by the pool in hopes, that what, someone will carry him into the water? He has been sick for a long time, possibly coming to Bethesada often, maybe he even slept there, night after night (just thinking). Did he have family that just dropped him off there and left? Was he abandoned?

A man in desperate need of healing and not just physical healing. Healing is just what he is about to receive. The cripple man has not earned it, but he has encountered Grace. He cannot even convince someone to take him in the water. He has been overlooked, perhaps walked over, ignored; after all, those going in the water have a need too. If only one person is going to get healed when this angel, this created being, stirs the water, then its going to be me. I'm sick too you know! So there he is all alone. He too, like the Samaritan women is despised and rejected.

This sick fellow is about to become the recipient, obtain and accept the touch from the Master that will change his life forever. It's the Sabbath, should he be there? It's the Sabbath, is there anyone even else at the pool (just thinking). Jesus always does what the Father says. Jesus encountering the lost, the spiritually dead and bringing more than physical healing. To the Samaritan women the question is, "will you give me a drink"? and this quickly turns into an "evangelistic" encounter, and the only One that can save, offers "living water" to this lost soul.

Healing for the crippled, disabled, sick man. Salvation for the Samaritan women, after all the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep and the "other sheep that are not of this sheep pen" (John 10:16) Healing not because he earned it but because the Lord said so. "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk". Those words don't sound too spiritual? Jesus did not even physically grab his hand; he did not take his own hands and put them under
the invalids arm pits; you help him and assist him to his feet. NO he does not. At the spoken Word of God, at the command to stand; this cripple man who could not even make it to the pool on his own, gets up and he is healed!! Hallelujah! The One with Authority over sickness and death gave the "charge", Get up! and he was restored.

Restored to physical health. Do you want to get well? That was the question that Jesus asked. That is the question for us. We read at the end of this story that Jesus met up with this man at the temple. I wonder if he went there to worship God; to offer up prayers of Thanksgiving for all that was done for him. Jesus speaks to him one more time and this time he says, "stop sinning or something worse may happen to you". Jesus is concerned about the physical and most importantly the soul of this man. Father we enter your courts with thanksgiving and praise, not because of what you are going to do, but because of who you are.

The Book of Revelations says that Jesus walks among the golden lamp stands (Revelation 2:1). Jesus is among us!
As we gather together in his house week after week, he is with us. He is ready to bring healing and restoration. The thief, the enemy of our soul comes to steal, kill and destroy but not The Good Shepherd he comes to give us abundant life (John 10:10). He says that his sheep know him and that we hear his voice.

Like the cripple man at the Sheep Gate we wait for you, Sick, discouraged, downcast and broken.  Come Lord, come Shepherd and tend to us your sheep!

Father speak to us and help us not to misunderstand when you speak, do not let us miss you! Come Lord to those who revere your Name, come with healing in your wings (Malachi 4:2). For the many that enter your house and don't know you Lord; as they draw near to you, draw near to them. We too like the cripple man, we will hear the words to stop sinning.  We wash our hands and we purify our hearts (James 4:8). Lord touch your people, heal us Lord, we are in need.

Father, we seek your face. We continue to pray for one another.  Draw us together into the water, in the Life Giving Water. We have no one to help us but You!  Walk among us and heal us!  Speak life to us, Lord of the Sabbath, come and heal us. Bring the sheep in Lord, bring us into the Fold.

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...