Day 6: John 5
In chapter 5, Jesus went to a place where there were a multitude of people with disabilities; lame, blind and paralysed. The culture of the day saw disability as a punishment from God, so on top of the physical problem there was sense of shame. Here was a man who must have just about given up hope.
Jesus asks him “do you want to get well?” The man’s answer didn’t look beyond his current circumstances, he does what we nearly all do, he limits God’s help to his own ideas and does not dare to believe for more. Don’t limit what God wants to do in your life based upon your present or past experience, obedience brings blessing, do what He tells you and see what His power can do when you start to move.
Jesus told the man to do something he could not do. Being paralyzed, it was impossible for him to rise or take up his bed or to walk. Jesus challenged the man to believe Him for the impossible and gives him immediate and complete healing. To be able to walk and carry his mat after thirty-eight years meant he received not just healing from his illness, but also strength and muscle tone.
Afterward Jesus sought him out in the temple because He was concerned for his spiritual health “sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you”. Living a life of sin is worse, and will bring a worse result, than being physically disabled.
What about all the other sick people around the pool, were they too pre-occupied with their eyes focused on the water putting their trust in what they knew that they missed what Jesus was doing? Or was it, because He deliberately slipped away into the crowd, that He “only did what he saw the Father doing”.
Do we, I wonder, sometimes do things in our own strength and go beyond what we have authority for because we haven’t spent enough time with the Father to know what His will is. (Note to self, not just to you the reader.)
The religious leaders were more concerned about who told the man to carry his bed on the Sabbath than the amazing miracle.
Jesus’ responds to their questioning in two parts. Firstly (v’s 19–29), He describes the authority which He was been given by God showing he has the same attributes and abilities as God. Calling God his father Jesus claims equality with God. He also declares that eternal life comes only to those who believe in Him. Furthermore the dead (that is you and I before we became Christians) will hear his voice and live.
Secondly (v’s 30–47), He provides evidence which prove the truth of His claims. These are human witness, the miracles He is performing and the written word, “These are the Scriptures that testify about me”.
Lord, thank you that always go above and beyond our own expectations. Amen.
Connect Group Leader