April 11, 2018 – John 5
Jesus said to the healed man, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." John 5:14
Don't leverage God’s blessing for our own desires, honor His salvation by living for God’s desires.
What a great story from Jesus about the true nature of healing, forgiveness & purpose. A man lays paralyzed for 38 years, looking to be healed in this miraculous water pool, or at least gain a day’s wages by begging. He is so used to his condition that being healed is no longer the first priority. Instead, it’s just getting the daily help he needs. Jesus approaches him and asks a powerful question: Do you REALLY want to be healed?
Many people want to be fixed, but may not necessarily want to be healed. That seems contradictory, but is often true. It’s the person who wants the raise without wanting more responsibility. It’s the person who wishes they could be healthier while they eat fatty foods. It’s the one who wants the relationship to be better without humbling themselves to change. So many want the fix, but not the cure. In this story, the man is given the cure by Jesus, not just the fix. And instead of returning to find Jesus to show his gratitude, this man goes off and celebrates his recovery.
But that’s not the end of the story. Later, after being questioned by the Jews, he runs into Jesus. So Jesus has to find him. When they connect, Jesus says something even more powerful: Stop Sinning or something worse may happen. WOW! What could be worse than laying around paralyzed for 38 years, begging for your existence every day? What could be worse than living most of your life useless, poor, unable to do much of anything? The answer: A life without the One who healed you.
Not only do people want the fix without the healing. They want the blessing without the responsibility. Jesus warns us that receiving His blessing and healing comes with a responsibility as well… to live for the one who has saved you. When we receive blessing for God, it’s not to be used selfishly for our own desires, it’s to be used for honoring God’s desires. Using it for ourselves rejects our relationship with God. Using it for God builds upon our relationship with Him. When God heals us from our past, don’t use it to increase your ability to sin, use it to increase your ability to serve Him.
All of us have been blessed beyond measure. We have been given life, invested with abilities, grown with skillsets, surrounded with opportunities. Don’t waste them pursuing the fix, use them to pursue the Fixer. If God has healed you from a past sin, or granted mercy from the consequences, show your gratitude by serving Him daily. Let your life be an example of what true healing looks like. Don’t Sin, and make it worse. Chances are, you’ll need the Healer again!