Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.
Dr. June Normil
During one of the Jewish feasts, Jesus was in Jerusalem (John 5:1). By the Sheep Gate was a pool called Bethesda, which means house of mercy (verse 2). This pool drew many people with physical needs, because it was believed that one could be healed if he or she entered the water when it stirred (verses 3-4,7). Among those at this pool was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years (verse 5). Jesus saw him and, aware of his situation, asked if he wanted healing (verse 6). The man responded, "When the water stirred, no one would assist me." Jesus simply commanded him, "Rise take up thy bed, and walk." The man immediately experienced a total healing (verse 9). The miracle took place on the Sabbath. This meant that the act of healing, stood in violation of Sabbath rules that had been established by the religious leaders. The man explained that he didn't know who healed him. Later, Jesus found the man and dealt with his heart, telling him to turn away from sin, or worse problems would surely follow. God is not only concerned about our physical well-being, He is more concerned about our spiritual well-being. Afterward, the man reported to the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the one who healed him. The Jewish leaders, became hostile to Jesus, for they saw Him as a lawbreaker (verse 16).
[For Personal Reflection] How has Jesus shown mercy to you when you felt hopeless or helpless?
Jesus responded to the backlash from the Jewish leaders, explaining His actions by saying He was following the example of His Father (John 5:17). In making this statement and using the phrase "My Father," Jesus was claiming equality God. This further infuriated them, for such a claim seemed blasphemous. They refused to believe that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Jesus explained the reason for His actions. He was only doing what He saw His Father do. Because He is God, Jesus has full understanding of the works and will of the Father (verse 20). Thus, Jesus can give life to whomever He pleases, even as the Father grants life (verse 21). Yet Jesus has also been entrusted with the task of judgment (verse 22). Those who honor the Son by believing in Him also honor His Father. To reject the Son is to reject His Father, who sent Him (verse 23), and thereby subject oneself to judgment. John's Gospel clearly affirms that Jesus is God. This truth is foundational and essential to Christianity. So, if you claim to believe the truth about who Jesus is, your life should follow the example of Jesus. He is your authority, and He calls you to obey His Word and thereby honor the Father.
[For Personal Reflection] What can you learn from Jesus example of submission with the Heavenly Father?
Jesus taught from a position of authority, for He is in full unity with the Heavenly Father. Jesus actions and words reflect the Father's will. Yet people often struggle with His teachings. He challenged popular ways of thinking about God and what it meant to follow Him. He presented clear outcomes based on whether a person believed in Him or rejected Him (and Jesus left no middle ground between those two options). So, what do you choose? Believing in Jesus leads you to great hope for today as well as for the future. Rejecting Jesus means you remain spiritually dead and can only despair of the day when you stand before Him to be judged. Choose Jesus.
JESUS IS THE RIGHT CHOICE!
Copyright Reference: Radiant Life, Volume 101 Number 1 Sep. Oct. Nov. 2019 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo 65802.
Dr. June Normil