Monday, November 18, 2013

God Helps the Helpless (5:1-17)

       I'm going to blog about this story a little differently than usual. Please read the word (John 5:1-17) and below is the story with my commentary mixed in.
       So Jesus is up in Jerusalem and heads to a spring called Bethesda. All around the pool are people who are disabled because everyone believes that if as angel stirs the water (aka the water starts rippling for an unknown reason) the first one into the pool will be healed. Of course, it's no big surprise that Jesus is hanging out around the outcasts seeing as he always heads to the people who need Him most, the helpless. So anyway, He sees this guy who's been lying by the pool for 38 years. For 38 YEARS, in case you didn't catch that the first time. So Jesus sees him and, because He knows he's been there for a long time he asks, "Do you want to be healed?" This may seem like a pretty obvious question seeing as the man is laying by the pool of Bethesda but he has, after all, been laying there for 38 years. Seems like if He really wanted to get well he might try to change his methods a little bit. Seems like even though He may think he wants to get well, the truth for him, and many others, is that we're so used to our bad lives that were scared of change and the responsibility that may come with it. Jesus is just making sure this guy knows what He wants before He gets it. He's prefacing the miracle and putting everyone on the same page. So anyway, this guy doesn't answer JC's yes or no question with a yes or no. Instead he gives an excuse, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I'm going, another walks down the steps before me." There is expression that says, "You can name it and blame it or name it and claim it." That would have been very helpful for this guy to hear seeing as he was naming it and blaming it (stating his problem and excusing himself from the fact that he is no where close to fixing it) rather than naming it and claiming it (naming his problem and how he is going to deal with it). Then, now that Jesus has affirmed that this guy does indeed want to be healed, He heals him.
       "Get up, take up you bed, and walk." That is what Jesus tells the man to do. Now, since the bed was not actually a bed but actually a beggars mat for the disabled people, the man doesn't need it anymore but Jesus has him take it with him anyway. The mat is a physical reminder of what Jesus saved him from. It is symbolic of a scar. Scar's remind us of what we were saved from and give us a platform to share our stories with others. I think that Jesus is telling the man to pick up his mat to tell us not to keep our scars, and therefore stories, locked up as a thing of the past because although they might be a thing of the past for us, others are going through similar things and we can be what God uses to help them.
       While we might not be disabled, we often have sick, lame, blind, withered days and those are the ones that Jesus can turn around. All we have to do is be willing to participate in His power!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Belief to Believers (John 4:49-54)

       We're back on the subject of John and I'm going to do a verse by verse again on John 4:49-54

  • John 4:49: because this man is called "the official" we can assume He is somewhat like Nicodemus (click here for more details). Jesus was his last resort, all the official had left to turn to in order to save his son.
  • John 4:50: Jesus didn't hesitate when He claimed that the son would live. Remember, He was fully human at the time so although He was God, it was like He had downgraded His body and power. Being fully human Jesus didn't have the power to heal the sick alone. Instead, His strong and constant connection with God and faith in God allowed Him to confidently assure the official his son would be made well without even seeing the sons condition. The official didn't question Jesus, instead of begging Him to come to His house and touch his son, he believed Jesus whole heartedly.
  • John 4:51-53: His son is healed! This is so encouraging to  us because it proves that when we ask Jesus, He can heal anyone, no matter how far away they are! Also, His son started to recover at the exact time Jesus said He would so it was clearly by God's strength and mercy the he was made well. But something even cooler than spiritual healing happened that day, the official and his whole family believed. They were saved by the power of Jesus because Jesus believed in God's strength! That's what we are supposed to do. When we believe in the strength and power of Jesus, we can be a part of bringing salvation to others!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Creator

     This post will be a little different because I'm not writing about John (I'll pick that up again next week!). Instead I've decided to write about why I know God is real. 
     Whenever my biology teacher explains stuff to us he ends the explanation by saying, "Y'all don't even understand how amazing this is." And he's right, we don't because no one can fully understand how amazing God is. The more I learn about how our bodies function, the intricate details and processes that keep us alive. The more I learn about the way the world works (the natural world), why it's changing and exciting, the more convinced I am that there is no chance it all appeared by chance. It's crazy to me how people continue to come up with ways the world came about and yet, every idea has been scientifically proven wrong except for one, God. Has He ever been scientifically proven, no. But that's kind of the point of faith. 
     We see some scientific evidence pointing towards the need for a creator, the truth of the Bible, Jesus resurrection, ect. but in the end, we need faith. Hebrew 11:1 says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." In verse 3 it goes on to say, "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." When we trust someone, there is no scientific evidence that they will keep there promise, we have to have faith in them. That is the same way with God. We can't just believe in facts, we need to believe in Him.
     Another thing, even though God is not scientifically proven, He is proven spiritual in the lives and hearts of those who know Him. He is truly amazing and I'm definitely looking forward to the day I get to meet Him face to face! :)

Side note: In web mastery I've been learning about HTML. It's is hard to remember the codes but if you know them it is fairly simple. I think it's really cool how you can make colors and fonts and pictures appear just by typing some words! (though it's nothing in comparison to making the world by speaking some words! :))

How could something like this be made by chance? For more crazy nature (God made) images click here.