17 Mar Rise Up and Walk (Jn 5:16) by Pastor Steve Selfridge
“Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a Sabbath.” ~ Jn 5:16 (full readings)
Pastor Steve’s Reflections: One day I was in front of my house when my young son came screaming across the yard with a hand on his forehead. He was crying, but when he took his hand from his head and saw blood, the screaming doubled! The neighbor boy had gotten upset at my son and had chucked a rock at him and hit him in the forehead. After calming my son down, we determined that we needed to take him to receive medical assistance. Of course this happens to be the son that doesn’t like any doctor working on him and gets physically bothered when the doctors provide their care. Even though he doesn’t like this, I didn’t want him to have an infection and a nasty scar. I also wanted him to be healed so away we went to the doctor. Some would laugh to think that I was persecuting my son to take him to the doctor. That is just what you do, correct? Then why were the Pharisees all worked up? Jesus healed a man who had been lame. That is great! But they focused on when the healing happened, not that it happened. And so they persecuted Jesus—which is pretty silly to persecute the Son of God, but they did and people who follow that same Jesus today get persecuted. It was silly for the man to stay on his mat when Jesus could heal him. We get persecuted as well. When you ask? When you defend a life in the womb, when you help the widow, when you help someone in jail, when you stand up for the less fortunate. And should we not help these? Or course we should help these, but sometimes people look at the incident around and don’t see the person that needs the help. So, today when you stand for someone and try to help them heal and you are persecuted, know that Jesus understands. Continue to help those heal around you despite the darts from others. Know that no matter what that “The Lord of hosts is with you!”
* Steve Selfridge is a pastor at First Wesleyan Church in Rapid City, SD. He is featured in the book Heaven is for Real. Steve has a wife and four children..
Faith Challenge: Find someone today to help despite others focusing on the incident rather than on the healing.
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