Sunday, January 8, 2012

Meeting a Need John 5:1-9 (@ Lake Bridgeport BC)

Sir Isaac Newton’s “First Law of Motion” states “Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it!”
Does that sound like you?  Sounds like me, for sure.  What kind of force does it take to impress on you the need to change?  Are you self-motivated?  Does guilt work?  Pride (good or bad)?  What if you were to see somebody that you looked up to doing something good?  Would that prod you into doing something similar?

All of my life I have seen how people look up to my dad.  He has a way of motivating people just by being there that I can only dream of.  The thing about my dad is that it is genuine with him.  Knowing him as well as I do, I can tell you that he has no ulterior motives and that he only wants to grow the Kingdom of God.  And if my dad does something with the hopes of furthering the Kingdom that way, I want to do that thing as well.  He can compell me to change just by watching him.

Turn to John 5:1-9.  As much as I love and respect Pop, he is just a man.  He is not perfect but I want to look at another man in John who was more than just a man, He was also God.  He was perfect.  In John chapter 5 Jesus heals a lame man.  We will never be able to heal like Jesus did but this passage is motivating when we see the compassion of Jesus.

Read John 5:1-9.

There are 2 things I want us to see in this passage.  First, I want us to see the mindset of the man and then the mindset of Jesus.  I am not as concerned about what was wrong with the man's body as I am his mind.  We don't know what was wrong with him physically and it doesn't matter.  It just says that he was an invalid.

Do you know why these people were laying next to this pool?  They were not working on their tans laying poolside.  There was a legend that an angel would on occasion come and stir up the waters of the pool, and the first one to enter the pool after the angel stirred the water would be healed. It was of course merely a superstition, but it was the last hope for many of these people.
They knew the odds were against them, especially the ones who were in the worst shape.  Somebody in better shape always beat them to the water.  They didn't have the medical marvels that we have today and so they just sat there, day after day, hoping for a better life.  Hoping for a miracle.
Enter Jesus.  And the way He enters is interesting.  He is entering the temple area and the Lamb of God makes it a point of entering through the "sheep gate".  He goes to the pool called Bethesda which means "House of grace".  Pretty appropriate, I say.  And Jesus goes straight to this man.  We don't know why He chose this guy, but He did and asks him if he wanted to get well.
Some people didn't necessarily want to get well because they made a good living begging but this man seemed to want to.  Jesus does not ask him if he wants to be saved or if he wants to go to Heaven.  He asks him if he wants to have his needs met.  If Jesus had asked him if he wanted to be a Christian or a believer, the guy probably would have said no.  Jesus just met a need.  The man's mindset was that he wanted a physical need met and so Jesus met that need because He could even though doing so on the Sabbath was going to get Him in lots of trouble.
Now let's look at the mindset of Jesus.  What was in it for Him?  What was in it for the Kingdom?  There is no evidence that the man ever asked Jesus to be his Savior so I don't think there was anything in it for Jesus.  He just had compassion.  Did the guy deserve compassion?  Was there anything about him that made Jesus show compassion?  No.  He just had a passion for people.  He could help so He did.  Even at His own expense.
Starting a food pantry / clothes closet here at this church is going to be a huge task.  It's not going to be easy nor will we ever get anything out of it.  The Kingdom of God may never be increased by even one but that is not our business.  Our business is not to do the growing of the Kingdom.  It's to be obedient to what God has called us to do and to do what He has modeled for us to do.  That's to be our mindset no matter the mindset of anybody else. 
If nothing else compells you to change and stop resting, I pray that the model of our Savior would. 

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