September 14, 2020
John 5:5-15
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 Jewish leaders 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 Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

New International Version (NIV)
Think for a moment about the oldest burden you bear.  Do you have any problems that are thirty-eight years old?  Do you want to get better? 

I only ask because Jesus did.  He met a man lying by the pool of Bethesda who had been lame for thirty-eight years.  And Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  What kind of a question is that?  Jesus did not usually ask that question to people who were hurting.  Why this man?  It must have been a real issue.

The man doesn’t even answer Jesus’ question.  Instead he talks about needing someone to help him get into the pool.  A rumor had it that an angel stirred the water and those who got in got well.  But Jesus was not buying what he was selling.  The lame man didn’t know Jesus very well, at all.  Jesus told him to get up and he did and the adventure began.  Opponents of Jesus were trying to catch him and this was their moment.  The Jewish leaders asked, “Who healed you?  You should not be healed on a Sabbath.  You can’t walk around carrying your mat on the Sabbath.  That is work.” 

Once again the man passes the buck.  “It is not my fault.  I am doing what I was told to do.”  “Just who healed you,” they asked.  I think they knew, but he didn’t know.  So Jesus found him.  “You are well again.  Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 

What would you do if a man healed you of your oldest burden?  Would you obey?  He went straight to the authorities and told them it was Jesus.  The blind man would stand up for Jesus against all foes.  But not this man.  Not this day.  He wanted what Jesus could do for him, but he didn’t want Jesus.

How well do we know Jesus?  Do we really want him to deliver us of our long-standing concerns?  Do we want to be well?  Jesus can help us with our burdens.  But most of all he wants to deliver us from our deadly sin.  We can be like Augustine who prayed, “God make me a Christian, but not yet.”  Or we can be made whole.  Now.   What do we really want from Jesus?  Jesus.  Even more than what he can do, Jesus wants us to want him.
Pray with me:         
Father, forgive us.  We thought we knew you.  In answer to your question, “Yes.  We want to be made whole.”  You are the only one who can do it.  Please heal us now, we pray.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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