John 5:1-47; Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5; Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11; Matthew 12:15-21
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John: I'm not sure if you noticed this unique thing about Jesus' healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda today - the man did not seem to have faith in Jesus or know who Jesus was! You'll recall with many of the healings we read about in the Gospels people yell out to Jesus for healing, or reach for Jesus' garment, and show some sort of faith or recognition of who Jesus truly is. Well, here in John chapter 5 verse 6 Jesus asks this man at the pool: "Do you want to get well?" And then in the following verses the man still doesn't realize who Jesus is and doesn't ask Jesus for healing, but instead frets about not getting into the waters of the pool where he thinks the waters will heal him. Well, come verse 8 Jesus says, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." I find this whole scene awesome and a great example of God's grace! Perhaps sometimes in our lives when we miss seeing what Jesus is doing, He will still often heal us or care for us! Even sometimes (though I don't think always...) when we seem to looking for the other "waters" that we think will heal us. Even sometimes when we don't ask Jesus for healing, he'll still do it for us.
Bible.org's commentary on our readings in John chapter 5 today titled "Jesus Heals the man at the Pool of Bethesda" is at this link.
I am intrigued by Jesus' words in John chapter 5 verse 30 today, particularly in light of the book of Judges that we recently read, which was a dark time in Israel's history - "But I do nothing without consulting the Father. I judge as I am told. And my judgment is absolutely just, because it is according to the will of God who sent me; it is not merely my own." I love that Jesus says his judgment is absolutely just. And I believe this is true - 1. that Jesus will judge us and that 2. his judgment is just. I think this is both something to be celebrated - there is no one else I would want to judge me... - and I think this can be sobering - if his judgment is absolutely just, then it is obvious that we cannot "sneak" anything by Jesus. Everything we have ever done or will do will be judged by Jesus. I think ultimately it is very healthy to recognize this. Maybe initially this realization will keep us from sinning because of some fear of judgment - but ideally this realization matures into a love for Jesus that encourages us not to sin because we would not want to disappoint Jesus whom we love with all that we are. Do you believe that Jesus is your judge? Do you believe that Jesus will judge you absolutely justly?
Bible.org's commentary on John chapter 5's readings today titled "Like Father, Like Son" is at this link.
Matthew: Today in Matthew chapter 12 we read about Jesus' teachings surrounding his healing on the Sabbath. Note that in verse 14 the plots to kill Jesus begin: "Then the Pharisees called a meeting and discussed plans for killing Jesus." Why do you suppose these plots started at this point? I don't think it was this one incident per se that began the plots in and of itself - but it was probably a culmination of Jesus' teaching, preaching, and healing ministries up to this point that started murmurs and discussions and finally led to plots. I think Jesus' wisdom and power and popularity with the people were seen as a threat. Do you suppose that Jesus' wisdom and power and popularity with the people are seen as a threat by some in our world today?
I read an interesting commentary on verses 11 & 12 today: "And he (Jesus) answered, "If you had one sheep, and it fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you get to work and pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep!" The commentary said that in this verse Jesus contrasts the worth of an animal with that of a human being. I think for most of us, we would agree that a human life is more valuable than an animal life. However - interestingly, not everyone in our world today feels that way. I recently heard a radio talk show host ask a woman if she saw both her beloved dog and a stranger drowning in a lake and she could only save one of the two, who would she save. And the woman basically said her dog - she hemmed and hawed about saying that straightforwardly, but basically she said her dog was her family... And so the stranger - the human - would lose out in that situation. What about you - if you could only save your beloved pet or a stranger (human) from drowning, who would you save? Who would God save? Do you think God places a higher value on human life than animal life? (since we just read the creation narrative in Genesis, this should be a slam-dunk answer! :)
I love the Isaiah prophecy in today's readings, summarizing the quiet aspects of the ministry of Jesus! Verse 21 makes me tear up to really meditate upon: "And his name will be the hope of all the world." How does this verse strike you? Do you believe that Jesus' name is the hope of the world? Is Jesus' name the hope of your own personal world?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Matthew chapter 12 titled "The Lord of the Sabbath" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings in John about Jesus's healing reminded me of Fee's song "All Because of Jesus:"
What is it all about for you? Click here for it to be all because of Jesus!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!