Scripture: John 5:2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk…14 Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
Observation: What jumped out at me this morning is v.14 when Jesus says, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Jesus seems to imply the man became ill or infirm while in the course of committing a sin – perhaps hurting himself while doing something he shouldn’t have, or becoming sick hanging around people or places he shouldn’t have. It’s hard to know for sure. Nevertheless, there’s an important teaching for us here. The commandments of God were given to us, not to cramp our style, but for our own well-being. We need boundaries in life to live as God intended – to thrive. When we violate those boundaries we often place ourselves in compromising positions that can lead to illness, infirmity, or worse.
When I reflect on my own life, I’m reminded how important it is to observe a Sabbath – especially in times like now when both work and home are going 100mph. Tired people tend to get sick. Tired people tend to get injured. Tired people don’t deal well with important relationships. The Lord is reinforcing for me this morning the importance of rest. I pray I have ears to hear – and obey.
Question: Where are you living outside the lines God has given to you? What might happen if you keep this up?
Prayer: Lord, it’s an age old problem. To often we choose to do things our own way rather than your way. And we end up paying a price. Give us grace to submit to your will and your ways. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.