“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Monday, June 27, 2005

John 5

The pastor of my church, Dr. Gary Inrig, gave the most interesting sermon this past Sunday. He preached from the book of John, chapter 5. He had many great insights which I am sure I will write about at other times in this blog (I immediately bought a CD of his sermon), however, one insight he had was the setting for the miracle which is described in the beginning of the chapter. He talked about how the city of Jerusalem would be packed out because fo the feast of the Jews, which meant that the area around the Bethesda pool would likely be more crowded than usual. He related that the physically disabled individuals in addition to perhaps not having the greatest hygiene in the first place, would more likely than not be surrounded by their own excrement and urine. No doubt a setting which would be a real affront to the senses. But the amazing thing was that Jesus was there, in the midst of the poor, the suffering and the filth which had to have been in the setting. The passage is not entirely clear why he was there, or whether he went to the pool directly as his destination. Jesus does notice the man whom he eventually heals, who for some reason caught his eye. He had been disabled for 38 years, the passage says. Jesus also approaches him with an interesting question, "Do you want to get better?" he basically asks, but that is for another blog entry.

Imagine, the Son of God, the Savior of us all, goes to a place of misery and filth and hopelessness and superstition, and heals an ungrateful man in the midst of it all.

Kind of reminds me of what he has done to me, although my misery and filth and hopelessness and superstition and ungratefulness is well hidden, at times even from me.

We serve an amazing God. Oh, that I could be more like him in ministering to those most forsaken and most helpless. Those whose last thread of hope is a superstition. Those who desperately need my help yet will be ungrateful and even try to cause me problems for my trouble in helping them (as the man does in reporting Jesus to the "Jews."

The standard set by our Lord for our service is exceedingly high (or low). We are to have his mind in us. He emptied himself and took the form of a servant. He was equal with God, but didn't consider his equality a thing to be "grasped." I sit and shake my head in amazement.


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