Thursday February 18, 2021

Today’s Scripture: John 5:1-13

Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 

Today’s Devotional

We can really criticize the “Jewish leaders” in this passage. In fact, it’s EASY to criticize the Jewish leaders in this passage! This man had been lying by this pool for 38 years. 38 YEARS!  – That would be like from 1983 until today. Suddenly this man can walk and all you can say is “HEY! Don’t carry your mat when you walk. You’re breaking a Sabbath rule.” I mean seriously?

They totally missed the work of God because they were focused on the definition of work. They did not see the miracle because the miracle led to a breaking of the rule. I really think they would have been happier if the man had just stayed sick and lying there for another 38 years – as long as no sabbath rules were broken.

So yeah, the Jewish leaders missed it. But while we are quick to condemn them, I wonder how often we miss it too? I wonder how often we ignore the amazing things Jesus is doing because they don’t fit into our worldview. Or, worse, seem to violate our worldview?  I wonder how often God is doing something amazing and we are too busy trying to box it in and shrink it down and make it manageable?

Keep your eyes open to what God is doing and ask yourself what you can do to participate rather than block.

Today’s Prayer

God help us to get out of the way of the amazing things you are doing.


This Week’s Immerse Passages:

Week 7, Feb 15-21; Hebrews, James, John 

Day 31 pp. 367-377 Heb 1:1-7:28 

Day 32 pp. 377-387 Heb 8:1-13:25 

Day 33 pp. 389-396 Jam 1:1-5:19 

Day 34 pp. 397-411 Joh 1:1-6:70 

Day 35 pp. 411-423 Joh 7:1-12:50 

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