Welcome back for the last time this week! Thanks for sticking with me this far… just one left before you get to hear from someone MUCH cooler than me! Let’s take a look at John 5.
Thought #1 – Vs. 1-9: It’s weird to me how this story is glossed over so easily when I think of this chapter and all that it carries. Jesus cured a man who had been unable to move for nearly 40 years!! That is huge! And yet it took me three times of reading this chapter before I decided I should even write about it! That by itself got me thinking… as someone who grew up in the church, how many of the amazing things that Jesus has done or that the Bible tells us do we gloss over because we’ve heard it multiple times? For me, that answer is uncomfortably high. I want to always be amazed by the things Jesus has done, even if I’ve read the story more times than I can count. I think a huge way of getting to that point is simply to pause. If this story is familiar to you, take a moment and pause. Read through it again and try to find something new to you. If you haven’t read this story often, make sure not to rush through! Take your time and think about the emotions that would have surrounded this story in an effort to get a deeper understanding of its message.
Thought #2 – Vs. 16-30: So, because Jesus was doing what he was sent to do… the persecution starts. Because the people didn’t listen to prophets before him, because they were just a little too full of themselves and self-righteous, they missed out on the Messiah and all of the amazing things that he was about to do. These weren’t even the people you’d expect to miss someone as important as the Messiah! These were Jewish leaders, people who were intelligent and should have been the most aware of Jesus’ coming. And yet they missed it, because they were too wrapped up in the law of how it was supposed to look on the Sabbath. How often do you miss out on something greater, maybe even to the point of intentionally driving it away, because you’re too wrapped up in how it looks on the surface? Now I am not saying that we should ignore the laws we have, but I am saying that we should be more focused on living a Godly life versus living a life that makes others think we’re living a Godly life. It is so easy to get sucked into the social media craze that includes Bible verses, pictures in your Sunday best with a quote from the pastor, etc. or in a prayer group that is really a place to gossip about others in the church openly without shame. None of those things by themselves are wrong necessarily, but more often than not, they can distract us from the true purpose of being a believer in today’s world. We are called to spread the message of Jesus Christ, and social media can be a very useful tool in that. We are called to pray for one another and help hold each other accountable. But all of these things must be done in love, and accompanied by a genuine faith and following of Christ. Have you gotten sucked in to the less-than-realistic believer mentality that keeps things focused on the surface level? How can you work to move past that and create a deeper, more genuine faith in Jesus?
Thought #3 – Vs 39-40; 44-47: This is more a continuation of Thought #2 than an individual thought. Here we see Jesus speaking about those who have put their faith in something or someone other than God. It’s not that these people he is referring to have put their faith in something unholy, unclean, or sinful, and that is the toughest part for me! These people are putting their time and effort into studying Scripture, and the words of prophets who speak truth. And yet, Jesus says that they “refuse to come to [him] to have life.” In my experience with the COG, we tend to have much smaller church bodies that are very close knit. I love this!! BUT, I have seen and heard where that can create problems. People in authority start to hold more weight than what is being taught, and churches can struggle when certain “higher-ranked” members have opinions or do things differently than what the church is meant to do. These members are good people, but they are not God. As a church, as a believer, we must put more faith in God than we do in our own personal congregations and churches if we want to experience the life Jesus Christ can provide through the Father.
Well thank you all for finishing Romans and starting John with me! I hope that something along the way was beneficial to you; I know I gained a lot from getting to write these 😊