World Day Of Prayer – Talk by Lily Zachariah

09/03/2020

 John Chapter5 verses1-15

Jesus heals a man paralysed for 38 years at the Bethesda pool by the Sheep Gate. The pool was reputed to have healing powers as many believed an angel would stir the waters from time to time and the first one in would be cured.

We don’t know how long the man had been coming to the pool  All we know was that he had been sick for 38  years .His particular sickness was not mentioned. He was lying on a mat so we can safely assume he was a paralytic of sorts  para or quadriplegic.

Jesus knew he had been there a  long  time . He engages in conversation with him and asks him “ Do you want to be healed?” We would think that that was a rather silly question to ask. The man had been sick for 38 years and had been coming to the pool for the sole purpose of getting cured. The man’s response however was not what we expected. Instead of a strait yes answer he chose to complain about his situation. He had no one to put him in the water so he was unable to get healed. Why do you think Jesus asked that question? Jesus often asked questions before He healed people.

Here was a man who had been sick for 38 years. He had gotten used to people carrying him to the pool and taking care of his needs. If he were cured things would change. He would perhaps lose his friends who faithfully carried him to the pool everyday.  He would have to  move out of his comfort zone where he was taken care of and fend for himself. He would have to earn his own keep and become independent,. He could not rely on pity to get him food and other necessities.

Sometime people prefer status quo and to complain about how little society cares for them because it is easier than making tough decisions in life. I am sure you have   heard similar complaints from some sick patients.

Change is always difficult.

This man was chosen by Jesus from among all the sick people at the pool. At any one time there could have been at least 100 sick people seeking cures. We are not sure why Jesus singled him out and whether he was a deserving case. All we know is that Jesus loved him and had compassion on him.

Jesus told him” Rise up pick up your bedroll and walk. Now the man could have continued complaining about how he had not walked in 38 years. Something in the manner that Jesus spoke to him made him obey Jesus immediately. As soon as he made the decision to obey Jesus he was empowered from above to rise up and pick up his bedroll and walk.

The man listened to the voice of Jesus and obeyed for the miracle to take place .There are many examples in the Bible where Jesus tells the person to do something before He healed them  When he healed the man with a withered hand he told him to stretch forth his hand. When he healed the blind man He put mud on His eye and then told him to wash in the  pool at Siloam. The man obeyed and he could see. Friends when God speaks to us we need to listen and when He calls to do something we need to obey Him. When we obey Him what happens next is the manifestation of God power and Glory.

The man did not even know who Jesus was. When asked by the Jews who had healed him he answered “the man who made me well told me to take up  my bedroll and walk. The Jews were angry because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath.

Jesus finds the sick man again in the temple complex. This is the first incidence of Jesus following up on someone He has healed. Jesus walks up to him and tells him “  See  you are well

Do not sin anymore so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” Jesus wanted to see repentance in the man. Jesus knows the hearts and mind of all of  us . Jesus knew the man had not repented for his sins even though he had been healed. His spiritual growth was stagnant. Instead of acknowledging his sin and seeking forgiveness he chose to betray Jesus by reporting to the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.. As a result the persecution of Jesus by the Jews greatly increased

Sometimes we too behave just like the Jews. Holding on to rituals  and traditions long past its use by dates we cling on stubbornly because we cannot accept change. We want to stay in our comfort zone. Why rock the boat . So we compromise take the easy road. In the end we have only a very superficial understanding of God’s  love and promises and we continue to remain shackled to our care and worries.

God is calling us to rise up and walk. Rise up from whatever it is that is holding you back from walking towards God.. Walk in faith and obedience to God’s calling and see  the transformation that will take place in your life. How we respond to Jesus is what determines our future walk with Him .Are we positioning ourselves in the right place so that when Jesus calls we are able to hear and obey. Rise up from our lethargy apathy and indifference and Walk towards God knowing that He will equip you for what he is calling you for. Rise up and walk away from your worries and cares and walk to Jesus who is stretching out His helping hand to guide you along your journey

 

 

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