Our passage today will bring up several different types of desires and several types of satisfaction. Some are good, some bad and some neutral.
My thought today is a simple one, but still always relevant: Jesus cares. This occurred to me while reading the following passage.
9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
It seems the observers were more concerned about their questions pertaining to the Sabbath than they were with the poor guy who needed to be healed. Afterward, the Pharisees who witnessed the healing confirm this by going out and conspiring how to destroy Jesus. Their additions to or interpretations of the law took priority over helping someone in need.
Jesus, as we know, was willing to be their victim. He would not, however, hold back from doing good to the man with the withered hand. Admittedly the man’s hand was no life-threatening injury. He may have lived with his problem for years. During that time, however, his frustration may have grown. His discouragement may have increased.
We have reason to be encouraged when we see ourselves as someone comparable to the man with this disability, We cannot do as much good as we would like. We are not as capable as we often feel we need to be. Our inadequacy is constantly glaring at us in the mirror and laughing. And Jesus cares.
Christ is happy to renew our strength. He is not too busy nor overly concerned with Sabbath requirements that were mere legal additions or interpretations to begin with. He cares. Jesus simply and personally cares. And he wants us to know that.
Christ’s public ministry moves forward with various miracles, revealing his power over sickness, nature and the demonic realm.
Chapter 5 begins with the sobering story of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple that the Lord struck dead for their hypocrisy. Ever wonder what it would be like if that happened more often? We’ll then see God working wonders through the apostles. That is followed by a confrontation between the apostles and the Sanhedrin led by the high priest, in the midst of which the twelve are released from prison by an angel. The chapter ends with the apostles continuing to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Theology doesn’t matter much to those who observe genuine transformation. In John Chapter 9 Jesus heals a man born blind. His neighbors immediately begin to talk about it.
Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.”
Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” – John 9:8-11
When Jesus makes big and obvious changes in us, the world can’t help but notice. While a pathetic Christian life makes for a pathetic Christian witness, a transformed life wields remarkable authority. Once the changes are made all we need to do is give Him the glory for the great things He has done.
Let’s allow Him to do all that He wants to within us and give the world something to notice as we change.