DISCONNECT……..Read John 5: 1-18

We were hoping to get a phone call today, and waited all day– but nothing came, the phone never even rang once. What happened? Such bad service when people don’t return calls as asked and expected and needed. Then I checked my e-mail and there was a message from this person frustrated that our phone kept ringing and ringing and not even an answering machine where they could leave a message. So, I e-mailed back saying that maybe they had a wrong number, but underneath I was a bit perturbed at them. Did they really try? Are they just placating me? But then my wife had an idea, a brilliant one at that I’m sorry to say–try our phone…which was deader than a door-nail (‘I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own, knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail’–from Dickens, A Christmas Carol!). But still our phone was deader than a door-nail! Jiggle a few wires and we’re back in business, we hope! With an apologetic e-mail send off rather sheepishly on my part! I don’t like the feeling of being disconnected. Cut-off…out-of-touch. Here’s some real good news, though–can’t ever say that about our Savior Jesus Christ! Never, ever disconnected. I love this story from John 5 of the healing of the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda. My wife and I were there in Jerusalem a few years ago and it was so emotional seeing the actual place where this healing took place. Emotional for me personally as I had polio when I was 2 years old, and I know what could have happened to me…braces, iron lung, crutches…and I thank God that none of that was in my future. But I still am moved by the struggles of paralyzed people. As you go through the story you really see the love of Jesus and all His caring for our varied needs. He really cares for you and me. He really does. In verse 6 Jesus ‘saw him lying there’–Jesus doesn’t just take a quick glance or shake His head in halfhearted pity; but He sees him, He watches this man and the verse then says that Jesus ‘learned that he had been in this condition for a long time…’ He saw and delved deeper to find out what had happened to this man, why he was paralyzed and for how long and other things about him and his family, I’m sure. And then Jesus asks the man if he wants to get well. That seems rather obvious, doesn’t it. Or does it? Some of us gripe and complain and seek sympathy with no intention of ever changing that attention-getting whatever. Do you know what I mean? Some don’t want to get well. So, Jesus asks. How about you and me? Do we really want to get closer to the Lord? Do we really want to give up gossip when it feels so good? Do we really want our worship life to be so precious that the extra time is no real sacrifice at all. It’s a joy and a feast to sit at the feet of Jesus. ‘Do we want to get…’–Jesus asks us. And when the man says ‘yes’, Jesus heals him right on the spot, no delays for this man whose been under it all for 38 years. And today, in the story, it’s the Sabbath, when you’re not supposed to do healing, the rabbis say. Hey, would it hurt anyone to just wait until tomorrow when Sabbath is over? Oy veh, already. He’s been waiting 38 years now, what’s one more day? And the flak will be a lot less tomorrow, maybe they won’t even notice and look the other way. But Jesus notices and He’s Lord of the Sabbath. He’ll do what He does to help whenever He wants. Poor healed man–now the religious folk nail his hide to the proverbial wall! ‘The law forbids…Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’ ‘Who…who…who???’ If I were Jesus, I think I would have headed for the hills about now. But not the Lord of the Sabbath. No, He even goes out of His way to find this newly healed man; hunting high-and low in the Temple urging him to continue the healing by leading a life free from whatever sin has been paralyzing him. And the man just can’t stop talking about Jesus! He’s so excited, so elated…healed and well and productive, all because of Jesus. Maybe we should talk a bit more about Jesus to others? What do you think? Keep talking about the One who sees us, who cares about us, who finds out about us, heals us, and leads us to a more godly life day by day. ‘Day by day and with each passing moment’. Our phone may have been disconnected but never our Lord Jesus…He’s that close and that alert and that sensitive to you and me, His children, forever!

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