This week’s reflection is from Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’ ?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Sin, simply put, means missing the mark. The man in our text today had a very pathetic case of incapacitation which eventually made him helpless and hopeless (verses 5-7). Jesus seeing him in such a terrible condition did not only pity but also commanded him to rise, take up his bed and walk (verse 8) which he did immediately (verse 9). Later, when Jesus found him in the temple, He told him to sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon him (verse 14).
There are two things to quickly note from the statement of Jesus. First, the paralytic’s condition was a result of sin. Second, there are situations that could be worse than being bedridden for 38 years if he continued in sin. It was 38 years of complete uselessness, stagnation, redundancy, unfruitfulness, pain, torment, sadness and anguish. What could be more pathetic for a man to spend more than half of his life expectancy on a spot, unmovable! Still, Jesus said anyone who continued sinning may have worse experiences than this man.
Beloved, there is no doubt sin is a gateway to all manners of affliction which include all the situations mentioned earlier. When sin rules over one’s life, it enslaves such a person and keeps him in perpetual bondage, thereby leaving him in torment and severe pain.
Therefore, come to Jesus who has come to give life in abundance. Accept Him into your life today and renounce such sins that may want to deny you of maximum peace and comfort.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as I repent of my sins, please minister wholesome healing to my body and soul.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You need not cry very loud. God is nearer to us than we think.
Sin is defined as a transgression of the law. I’m one of those people who almost never becomes ill. Does this mean I’m almost perfect and nearly sinless ? No, of course not. We are all human and we are subject to human nature. If someone becomes seriously ill, this doesn’t mean they have committed some terrible sin. Illness is caused by viruses in our environment. Genetics plays a big part in someone’s health also. My ancestors on my mother’s side of my family live long lives. Well into their 80s and 90s. A few lived to 100. The reason I almost never become ill is probably because I inherited good genes from my ancestors.
Because of my NDE, I know that both God and Jesus love all of us in ways we cannot begin to understand or comprehend. I was accepted and treated with unconditional love. Everything in my experience was completely positive, and there was not one iota of anything that was negative.
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The paralytic must have felt the same way — unconditionally loved. But he didn’t know who healed him. In hindsight, we do.
Latin was his hobby,
and when one battle he did win,
Charles Napier said, “Peccavi”
for he had taken Sindh.
I wish we had those days again,
culture taken so for granted;
I find, today, it is a shame
that few can understand it.
Perhaps we can preserve this
and keep the game alive,
not let it vanish in the mist,
and let dead language thrive.
There’s so much comfort to be gained from
“Illegitimi non carborundum!”
Speaking in tongues, eh? Keep the game alive!
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