A Lenten Devotional, Day 10

A Lenten Devotional, Day 10

This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle.  Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.

Reading

John 5:1-17 (ESV)

Meditation

There are a couple of pretty big oversights in this healing story. One is from the man being healed, and the other is from the Jews as John relates the story.

He gets up, rolls up his bed and walks away. He doesn’t stop to ask who it is that has healed him.

The man is healed from being an invalid for 38 years. He had been trying desperately to get into the water to be healed, but someone always beat him to it. But when Jesus tells him to get up and walk, he does just that. He gets up, rolls up his bed and walks away. So what is the oversight? He doesn’t stop to ask who it is that has healed him. He doesn’t wonder who the man is that has so much authority in his presence that when he asked him to stand up, he stood up, even after 38 years. He doesn’t ask, “Who are you? You’re special, can I follow you?” John tells us that Jesus withdraws because of the crowd, but I think I would have tried to follow him with my new working legs. He walks away, though, and right into the other group of people who miss something.

The Jews see someone carrying his bed on the Sabbath. It doesn’t matter that he was healed just a few minutes before. Their concern when hearing about the healing is not to celebrate with the man now that he can walk, but to find out who told him to break the law.

The man had received what he wanted, the ability to walk, and he thought that was all he needed. Jesus encounters him again, to charge him to sin no more. The man needs more: he needs to encounter Jesus.

The Jews had a law and system. They had an understanding of the way they wanted things to work, and how to obtain righteousness.

Sometimes we miss Jesus because we think we have all we need, or we have everything figured out.

When Jesus disrupts and disturbs this way, they seek punishment. They need to hear that the Father is working (and so is Jesus); that their system does not limit God; and that their system will not save them.

Sometimes we miss Jesus because we think we have all we need, or we have everything figured out. This is not the case. All we need is Jesus; He has us figured out, and wants us to rest in him.

Prayer

Jesus, protect us from not seeing you in our lives. Protect us from being content with getting little from you and forgetting that you have so much more for us. We are grateful for salvation but forget that you empower us to live life like it was meant to be lived. Forgive us for looking at your sacrifice as a “get out of jail free” card. Your love and sacrifice gives us life, real life. Forgive us when we let pet causes become more important than you. They shadow your light. Spirit, remove them from our lives if they hinder us from seeing God’s truth. Amen.

Lenten Action

Try to identify who you are in the story. Do you think you have all that you need, and move on without looking intently to Jesus? Or do you have a system of religion that is working for you and have become blind to the Gospel? Pray that God will help you see who you might be and seek forgiveness for not seeing Jesus as your all-in-all.

• • •

Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia.  Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work.  You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.

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