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Thursday, July 3, 2014

John Chapter 5 - Helpless - Hopeless - Hypocritical and...Heavenly

Before I nod off to sleep -- Wanted to talk about John 5.  Please read this chapter! 

I may be sleepy, but I'm getting fired up by John Chapter 5!  We start with the beggar by the pool. 
This guy is helpless. He has been lame for 38 years.  No one carries him to the "healing" water, so he is resigned to a "hopeless" situation.

"Do you want to get well?"  John 5:6

Jesus asks the lame man this question.  Isn't that strange?  Why wouldn't the man want to get well?

Wait a minute....

Do WE want to get well?  Perhaps we're more comfortable moaning here on our mat of self-pity. Jesus says it's time we pick up our mats and walk.  That's what he tells the beggar to do. 

But that's not enough.  Later, Jesus sees the healed man. 

"See, you are well again. Stop sinning," Jesus says, "or something worse may happen to you."  - John 5:14
 

WOW!  No one can be truly healed unless they ask for forgiveness and stop sinning.  The lame man is no exception. 

OK, let's get this Bible lesson straight:  

___We should abandon our "lame" excuses, stop whining on our mats and stop         looking to others to do the work we need to do.  

___We should stop sinning,  ask for forgiveness, give our lives to Jesus, pick up our    mat and start walking! We will be hopeless no more!

Going back to the Bible -- Enter: the hypocrites.  I find it interesting in John 5: 9-10 that  the Jewish leaders don't even seem to notice that a man who's been lame for 38 years is now walking.  All they see is someone breaking a rule: 

DON'T work on the Sabbath!  They do NOT want this guy to carry his mat! They are so busy looking at rules, they missed a miracle. (Have I ever done that?????)

GEESH!  Do you know Jewish leaders in Bible times created hundreds of intricate rules to govern the lives of the Jewish people?  Their nit-picking drove them to distraction!  

The Jewish leaders loved rules.  Rules kept them in control. They did not like Jesus shaking up their instructions. How could Jesus work on the Sabbath?

Jesus told them straight about working on the Sabbath:
"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." - John 5:17

This statement shocked the Jewish leaders.  Jesus was claiming to be God's son.  This was dangerous to them.  -What a threat to their power base!   They started plotting to kill Jesus.

"I tell you the truth," Jesus said.  -- Now, when Jesus says something like this, be sure to pay close attention!

"the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed." - John 5:19 & 20

Hmmmm.  Why do I try to do things on my own?  Have I even LOOKED to see what my Father is doing?  Am I trying to join God in great and wonderful works?  Maybe I'm just too busy trying to follow a bunch of rules.

"I tell you the truth whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." 
                                                                 -John 5:24


Wow !  There's that opening phrase "I tell you the TRUTH," once again!   

Jesus' TRUTH can set you FREE!  Here is our message of salvation in a nutshell !

Jesus is sharing some pretty heavy duty messages as He walks through the temple.  I can just see the horrified Jewish leaders following Jesus, watching and listening for more reasons to get rid of this person who threatens their power base.

I can just picture Jesus spinning around to face the men skulking behind him.  He calls the hypocrites on the carpet:

"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures that testify about me,yet you refuse to come to me to have life." - John 5:39,40

Yikes!  If I bring this message home, I have to ask myself: Am I so busy teaching, preaching and sorting through a bunch of rules that  I miss the salvation and peace Jesus has to offer me ?

Jesus continues to condemn the spiritual leaders. 

"But I know you. You do not have the love of God in your hearts. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" - John 5: 42,44

I'm thinking of  church here.  I'm thinking of everyone giving each other "high fives" on jobs well done....hmmm ... have we checked in with God's opinion yet?

OUCH!  Maybe I should be more worried about God's opinion than other people's .  I would hate for Jesus to say of me: "You do not have the love of God in your heart."

YIKES!  I hope Jesus does not think I am hypocritical.

Jesus goes on to tell the Jewish leaders even more... but I have to go to bed.

 Please explore these wonderful lessons from your Heavenly Father and let me know your insights!

Read on and write me at watwelsh@gmail.com if you have thoughts, questions, comments!

Next up: John Chapter 6!

Have a wonderful July 4 and we'll see you next week!   




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