Today we are looking at a very special story from John, chapter 5, and I am sharing one of the most powerful sermons I ever heard from Pastor Steven Furtick from 2019, entitled “Trust Me, I’m Trying.”
5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.(John 5:5-9)
Pastor Steven Furtick’s sermon on this passage was one of the best interpretations of this story that I have ever heard. It is worth listening to many times. Pastor Furtick focuses on the invalid, I want to focus on the community around the invalid. In case you chose to ignore my advice to listen to Pastor Furtick’s “Trust Me, I’m Trying” sermon, let me catch you up real quick. This pool at Bethesda was believed to have healing powers, so that when the water bubbled, the sick or handicapped would just have to soak in the waters and they would emerge healed. You can assume that this was true because for thirty-eight years this man sat near the pool and had to watch as countless others went into the water and emerged healed in some way. If the pool didn’t work, this man would have never waited that long. Why the man could not just wait by the edge and roll in when the time was right is beyond me and not one of the important details to focus on. What I want to look at is the countless strangers and patrons that never stopped to help this man. What I want us to think about is all the others that walked right by, maybe even over, this man to get their loved ones to the waters first. Never once did anyone else stop and help this man. As Pastor Furtick passionately pointed out in his sermon, this is the exact reason Jesus chose this man to perform a miracle on.
2000 years after this story and we’re still stepping over those in our society that need help the most. 2000 years later and we’re still so focused on ourselves that we barely ever stop and help the lowest in society get to the water’s edge. 2000 years later and we’re still waiting on Jesus to show up and perform a miracle that we might be able to help happen all on our own. Well, I’m tired of seeing the sick, the poor, the broken suffer in this world. I’m starting today to pick up the invalids and walk them into the waters of revival myself.
Reading plan: John 17:1-12
Deeper reading plan: 1 Chronicles 12, 13, 14, 15
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for recovery Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a world where the sick and invalid are given the help they need and deserve in this moment.
Fitness challenge: The next two weeks we are jumping back up to 3 sets. 21 reps of each exercise 1-7, then repeat for a total of 3 sets:
1. Standard push-up
2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats
4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts
6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kicks