Daily D – John 5:5-6
One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
JOHN 5:5-6 (CSB)
He blurted out, “Son, I didn’t ask you how to build a clock. I asked you what time it is.”
Unaccustomed to having someone talk to me that way, I was grieved by the abruptness and rudeness of the reaction. He wanted a Yes or a No. However, there was more to the story than a simple affirmative or negative could bear. He didn’t care.
There are plenty of jerks in the world. We do not have to add to their number.
Jesus stepped into a place where there, “lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed,” (verse 3). Jesus did not generalize his action. He particularized it with attention given to a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years.
After that length of time, you kind of get used to whatever problem you have. It is hard to imagine not having that problem anymore. How about you? Is there any limitation you live with today that has hindered you in some manner for a long, long time?
Jesus asked a question that sounds like the answer should be obvious. Even so, he asked. Jesus did not impose his will on the man. Jesus did not force a gift on a man who had grown to hold no expectations of a better life.
Notice what happens next. The man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years began building a clock, so to speak.
Jesus did not need the clock. He knew what time it was. It was time for this man, with his tepid, kinda, sorta Yes to be made well.
Oftentimes people say Yes with their words and No with their actions. This man did not quite say Yes with his words, but his actions tell us that he was finished explaining how to build a clock and was ready at that time for whatever Jesus offered.
There are a good handful of lessons here. Let’s consider one in particular. Whatever Jesus asks, the answer should be Yes.
Do not give Jesus clock-building lessons.
Do not tell Jesus, “It is what it is.”
Do not tell Jesus, “Now Jesus, once upon a time, I believed in stuff like that. However, some things are just too good to be true. I have learned to do without what you’re talking about and I’m just fine the way I am.”
Do not tell Jesus, “I can’t.”
Instead, tell Jesus, “Yes. Whatever you want, I want, too.”
Jesus only gives good gifts. You can trust him to be better to you than you would be to yourself.
Let’s practice today. Choose the Jesus Way first time, every time. See what happens. There is no guarantee everything will be problem-free, but there is a guarantee it will lead to the best it could be. A simple Yes can set you free.
I will say Yes to Jesus.
Our Father, you know what we want and what we need. You know that we often live beneath your good intentions. We hide behind our fears. We make endless excuses. We worry what someone else will think. Please give us the courage to say Yes with our words and with our reactions to whatever you ask. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”