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    Do You Hang With The Invalids?

    April 1, 2014

    John 5:2-9
    Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

    In the first part of John 5, we see Jesus going to a place where not many wanted to go in that time. The place was a large pool. This large pool was the gathering spot for many "invalids" (v.3). People who were sick, lame, blind, and otherwise cast off by society. At this pool Jesus meets a man who has been an "invalid" for 38 years! This man is a picture of what it means to be left alone, cast off, broken, bent, beaten down, and going through a life of hardship. He was someone who no one wanted to be around. In fact, over the course of 38 years not one person would help him into the pool. Not one person cared that much about him. Most people probably assumed he was beyond repair. Not worth their time. Somebody who would ruin their day and their reputation.

    But not Jesus

    When Jesus saw him he knew this man had been going through this for a long time. He knew the pain, the brokeness, the hurt, the lonliness. Jesus had so much going on, he could have easily said, "I have better things to do. I have much greater things to do than to worry about a man who has no hope. I have to save the world after all." But, he doesn't say this. Jesus asks the man, "Do you want to be healed?" Not only does he take the time to converse with this man, but Jesus heals him by saying, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." Wow! What an awesome picture. Jesus taking the time to heal the broken, the cast off, the diseased.

    What can we learn from this little lesson?

    1. We can be like Jesus and care for those no one else does

    As a member of a team, do you keep your eyes peeled for those who are left out. Do you know your teammates who no one wants to deal with? Do you know those who are going through a hard time? Do you see the people that need someone, no matter the cost or the time?
    We must follow in Jesus' example. We must be willing to love those the world doesn't always love. We must be willing to hang out where most people don't want to hang out. Don't gloss over the weak and needy. Have a heart to seek and save the lost.

    2. If you are one of the "invalids", TAKE HEART and know Jesus cares about you.

    Perhaps you are one of the people who society has cast off. Perhaps you are broken spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or even physically. Perhaps no one has been there to help you. TAKE HEART. John 5 reminds us that Jesus does not look over you. Jesus is there for you. Jesus is ready and waiting to heal all the wounds. He is the answer to the question, "Do you want to be healed?" He is the great healer. Trust He is there waiting to tell you to "Get up and walk".

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