Friday, March 6, 2009

Healed invalid breaks Sabbath law, becomes street evangelist

My previous article presented the text from the fifth chapter of the gospel of John. In this article, I wish to expand on that a little bit.

In John 5:1-15, Jesus healed a man diseased for thirty-eight years. The Jews never forgave Jesus for healing this man on the Sabbath, nor for His claim of personal equality with God (John 5:16-18), and humanly speaking, this opened the opposition that eventually cost Jesus the Christ His life.

Jesus told the invalid to get up. Jesus’ command always carries with it His quickening power to obey. However, the obedience and the power are simultaneous. To refuse to obey in faith is not to experience the power. Similarly, Paul describes fallen humanity and every descendant of Adam as being dead (limp, lifeless, helpless) in transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1). He then speaks of God’s quickening power to make dead people alive.

Jesus gave the invalid at the pool of Bethesda strength but also required him to carry his responsibilities---his mat. He told him to pick up his mat and walk. This could also symbolize the idea: “Accept your circumstances but carry them in triumph, trusting in My imparted strength.” Not until he obeyed did this man experience the totally new life and strength created within him.

Immediately, the healed man ran into opposition. Opposition is similarly inevitable for any active Christian (Acts 14:22; 1 Peter 2:20-21). Those of us who are Christians need to expect opposition, trials to test our faith, and difficult circumstances, for these are appointed for us, and “we are destined for them” (1 Thessalonians 3:3). God allows opposition so that we may be deeply rooted in Him and experience the delights of proving His strength and comfort given in trials.

Jesus ordered the now-healed invalid to stop sinning. After Jesus had broken the power of sin over him, He warned him of the danger and of the consequences of indulging in the habit of whatever sin in which he had been involved. We, too (those of us who are followers of Christ), are made whole in order to live in newness of life with new habits that please God. We were chosen in Christ “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Ephesians 1:4). We are called to be set apart from sin (separated) and set apart for God (sanctified) through the power of the new life of the Holy Spirit given to us by God (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is true wholeness. We work out what He has first worked within (Philippians 2:13).

The healed man then began witnessing to others about Jesus (John 5:15). Those who have been made whole by Jesus want to tell others about Him. We who are born-again, regenerated Christians with new lives should be doing the same.

9 comments:

satire and theology said...

'God allows opposition so that we may be deeply rooted in Him and experienced the delights of proving His strength and comfort given in trials.'

Good point, and I certainly often receive opposition.

'We are called to be set apart from sin (separated) and set apart for God (sanctified) through the power of the new life of the Holy Spirit given to us by God (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is true wholeness. We work out what He has first worked within (Philippians 2:13).'

Agreed.

Facebook is not the new Blogger.;)

Jeff said...

Russ,

Facebook is not the new Blogger.;)

Yeah, that latest Facebook conversation has taken on a life of its own. I wonder if you can publish the comments so that all your Friends on Facebook can see it (if that is not already the case), and then keep making allusions back to your blog page, within that Facebook conversation, to attempt to draw people to your blog.

satire and theology said...

Jeff,

Thanks for the Facebook and Blogger comments. I try to post the blog links on Facebook and hopefully someone will bite.

I have left replies.

Russ:)

Jeff said...

Thanks for the Facebook and Blogger comments.

You're welcome, Russ.

satire and theology said...

Hi Jeff,

Comments have been turned off for your latest post, at least for me.

The post is educational.

Russ:)

Jeff said...

Hey, Russ.

I installed 'Intense Debate,' after seeing it used on Kevin's "Shooting the Breeze" blog. It treats comments in a different manner. You have to sign up for it to leave comments. If it causes a problem, I will disable it. Let me know if you can sign up with it, or what you think about it.

Jeff said...

Russ,

When I installed 'Intense Debate,' it said I must choose the pull-down option "New Posts Do Not Have Comments" in order to install 'Intense Debate.' I just now changed that option back to "New Posts Have Comments" to see what that will do now.

Jeff said...

I also chose the option to show backlinks, which was disabled before.

Jeff said...

I have now re-installed Intense Debate using a different install option, but I opted for it only to affect new posts.