The Gospel of John | Day Five

By: Brittany Green | Authority

"I grew up in a Christian home and my parents are believers. However, being a Christ follower was not greatly stressed in our household--especially since we didn't attend church every Sunday. However, I'm incredibly blessed with the parents I have and am thankful they sent my sister and me to Vacation Bible School in elementary school. 

I will never forget the fun we had learning about our great Father during VBS. This is where I made a decision to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins when I was eight! Though I was young, I knew I wanted a relationship with the Lord--even if I didn't really understand what that looked like.

Fast forward Into my middle school years, I knew Jesus to be a Savior, but I didn't really make Him the Lord over all my life. However, God woke me up when I went to church with some of my friends in the seventh grade. I started to really understand what it was like to follow the Lord and was given opportunities to grow in my walk with Him, as well as opportunities to share the love of Christ!

One thing specifically that changed me life was going to church camp before my freshman year. It truly shook me to my core and gave me experiences I will never forget! I began to get into the word every night before going to bed and this helped me to carry on what some people call the "camp high". 

A couple of friends and I started a bible study group to study Scripture together and talk about our current struggles and trials. Also, I recently just got back from my second mission trip to the Rio Grande Valley--which is always so eye-opening and humbling. If we continue to allow the Lord to grow us, there is never a limit on how close you can get to the Lord! I think Him for the blessings that He has given me and for how faithful and loving He truly is!" 

--Kirsten, Sophomore

This morning, start in prayer releasing your day to Jesus. Give Him your hopes, your fears, your struggles, your worries, your friends, things that are going well for you – all of it. Ask God to teach you in this time.

Now read John 4:46-5:29.

What stands out to you in this reading?

How did Jesus heal the government official’s son?

What were the people doing around the pool?

What day did Jesus go to the pool?

What was the name of the pool?

Jesus has the authority to heal just by speaking. He didn’t need to see the official’s son to heal him. He didn’t need to touch the disabled man. He simply spoke. With His breath, God brought about the universe, with His breath Jesus brings about life and healing, and so too, with the breath of the Spirit life is breathed into our dark places.

Now, this pool was called Bethesda. This pool, or series of pools actually, was believed to have healing powers. The crippled and diseased would gather hoping to be healed. It was a miserable place to see. There would have been a horrible stench, and no sane person would willingly go into a place littered with such wretched and diseased people. It was impure and for Jesus to bring His followers into this place ran the risk of any of them catching a disease.

It’s just like Jesus to go to the most outcast of places. He steps into this mess, into this disease, and sees the hurt. He sees the man who had been disabled for 38 years. And check out how Jesus interacts with this man in John 5:6-8.

Jesus: Are you here in this place hoping to be healed?
Disabled man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir, but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. So the answer to your question is yes – but I cannot be healed here unless someone will help me. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred.
Jesus: Stand up, carry your mat, and walk.
(John 5:6-8, The Voice)

The man recognizes that he cannot be healed unless someone will help him. Jesus is that help.

As we read on, we see that Jesus is stirring up all sorts of trouble in this day. Remember how it is the Sabbath? Well this was the Jewish holy day. When God made the earth in seven days, He took the 7th day to rest, a Sabbath. Jews were not allowed to work on this day, walk only about a hundred steps, and other rules to make it a day of rest. So healing on this day was taboo. Asking the disabled man to carry his mat was considered work. Jesus is turning the worldly standards upside down over and over!

Check out the second half of chapter 5. Jesus talks about His authority.

How does this influence your view of Jesus? Does it change anything for you? Do you see Him in a new way?

 

Jesus is showing His authority through teaching and healings. He is establishing a basis for who He is and what He has come to do.

We all need Jesus’ authority in our lives. Sometimes we don’t like to admit it, but like the old man, we all need help. There are things in our lives that we just can’t handle on our own. I’d even guarantee you that we can’t handle anything on our own. It’s because of God’s grace and mercy that we have breath, that we’re able to have fun, that we can do anything in life. God sustains us. It’s Jesus’ authority and His grace that allows us to do anything. So in the hard things and in the good things, we need God’s help.

What do you need help in today? What area of your life can you listen to Jesus saying, “get up, take your mat” and start walking in life?