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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Jesus Saves Beggars, Thugs, And Losers - Just Like Me

Joh 5:2-9 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids--blind, lame, and paralyzed *[waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred the water: whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.]* One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. (esv)

This message from the book of John is about the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda who couldn't get into the water to be healed. He had been there 38 years and he struggled day after day to get to the water when it was stirred up. As Jesus walks along the poolside looking at all the lame, sick, and diseased men and women there he responds to one particular man by asking him a question. "Do you want to be healed?"

Unbeknownst to him he was lying on a mat in front of the maker of the world. Jesus didn't have to ask the man if he wanted to be healed. He knew that he had been their 38 years and it was apparent by his presence at the pool his desire was for healing. Jesus was wanting to show the man His amazing love and grace in spite of the paralytic's lack of faith and knowledge of Jesus. The man responded by telling Jesus that there was no one to help him get into the water... He needed to get into the water. In an instant Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and walk.

Several things stand out to me about the way Jesus heals this man. First, in spite of the man's lack of faith, Jesus still performs a miracle in his life. Second, was that Jesus didn't walk him down to the pool and place the paralyzed man into the bubbling water, He spoke and the man was healed. The man had faith in the water of Bethesda and didn't even realize that the living water was standing right next to him. And lastly it shows me as I read on in the passage that Jesus was concerned about his sin.

After reading this passage today I have to ask myself how much faith do I have in Jesus to heal me and my struggles and difficulties. Even when my faith is little, this message from John shows me that God is faithful in spite of my weakness and unbelief. It also shows me to rely on Him alone. Not the water of the pools of Bethesda, not the resources I have to take care of my problems, and not the strength of others. It also shows me that He will choose whom He will heal and make well. There were maybe hundreds of men and women around the pool and He chose this paralytic man for a reason. After Jesus healed the man He left the pool and found the man in the temple. He told the man to go and sin no more. The healing of this mans physical body was a mere representation of the healing Jesus desired for the mans soul. Jesus could heal all of the people at the pool, but was far more concerned about their spiritual healing than their physical. As with us today, many will go into their death bearing the physical disabilities they carried with them for all of their years, but the true healing comes on that final day when there will be no more pain, no more tears, and no more crying.

As I read the Gospel of John I see many things about the character of Jesus. I think today I am really understanding that Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and seeks out the lost in many ways that I have not truly noticed over all these years. The woman at the well was a Samaritan woman and Jews had no dealings with Samaritan's. The paralytic man was probably homeless, quite possibly a beggar, and the only worldly possession he owned was a bed mat. The woman who touched His garment was healed of her years of bleeding instantly because of her faith.

As Christians we have a tendency to make programs and churches around the "lovely" people of the world. However, Jesus walked the streets and saved the "un-lovely's." I am truly convicted that Jesus calls us to reach out to all people and share the gospel with them. Not just the neighbor down the street or the co-workers in the office, but all men and women. Everyone on this planet is in need of the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of social, economic, or any other status we may give them.

The Samaritan woman shared what she experienced at the well and the entire community came out to see Him, yet His own people rejected Him and only wanted to see signs and wonders. May we as American Christians with enormous resources reach out to all people and share the gospel with them. Even the man on the corner begging for some change...

The lyrics of this secular song state this message so clearly. We live in a lost world. Young girls getting pregnant, beggars on every street corner and freeway off ramp, and gang violence rampant in our city streets. What message are we sending our young people?

Everlast - What its like

We've all seen the man at the liquor store beggin' for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
Get a job you stinkin' slob's all he replied

God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it's like [x4]

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said don't worry about a thing baby doll I'm the man you've been dreamin' of
But three months later he said he won't date her or return her call
(edited out line)
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin' through the doors
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore

God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it's like [x4]

I've seen a rich man beg
I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I've seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
Smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart
You know where it ends
Yo, it usually depends on where you start

I knew this kid named Max
He used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late at night
Liked to get **** faced
And keep pace with thugs
Until late one night there was a big gun fight
Max lost his head
He pulled out his chrome .45
Talked some crap
And wound up dead
Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of his pain
You know it crumbles that way
At least that's what they say when you play the game

God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose
Then you really might know what it's like [x3]
To have to lose...

I hope and pray that the message we send to the world is that there is hope. Hope in a mighty and powerful Savior. Hope for the lost, hope for the dying, and hope for the hurting. You don't have to go through this life having to lose... Jesus will heal you and make you whole again. All you have to do accept His living water and quit waiting by the side of the pool for someone to set you in.

*omitted in some versions


Peter Davidson said...

You have a very nice blog here! You may also appreciate the many testimonies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at http://wetestifyofchrist.blogspot.com. God bless.

weapherblogs said...

Thanks for sharing Peter.

God Bless.