To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):
John 5:1-15 (NIVUK): ”Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
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.” 9 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.”
I found this study to be really good – Selwyn makes a number of excellent observations.
He starts by writing: “Yesterday we began to consider the steps we should take when things from our past intrude into the present and dampen our experience of God’s presence.
The second step we can take is to accept some responsibility for the way we are. (The first step – mentioned yesterday – was to accept the fact that these things are going on within us.) It is true that we cannot always affect and choose the things that happen to us in life. We can, however, with God’s help, love and tender grace, choose the manner of our response to what happens.
Third, we ask ourselves if we really want to be healed and delivered (see today’s reading). … It is possible for past problems to serve a purpose for us. One purpose might be to get sympathy from others. Another purpose could be to use the hurts we have received as an excuse to hurt others.
The fourth step that must be taken is to bring whatever is troubling you to God and ask Him to heal and restore it. … Whenever we place our trust in God, He is always faithful and true.”
Don’t you agree with me that this has been a very useful study? There is a lot of material to meditate upon; and, I don’t think it is so strange that there are some people who don’t want to be healed as they have become so dependent, on the sympathy they receive from family and friends, or the self-pity they may indulge in.
Please, let me know your views on this interesting and challenging topic?