“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 5:8-9
“I hear You say,
‘Come to the water
Come to the river
Come to the well
Come if you’re thirsty
Come if you’re broken
Come and be healed.’”
Kate Miner, Come to the Water
- Are you ready to witness another one of Jesus’ miracles? Ask the Lord to calm everything inside you and all around you. Wait expectantly like
a child to see the impossible take place.
- Read John 5.
Focus on the Miracles
I think I might be a nitpicker. I remind my children to do their morning chores, but I don’t affirm everything they accomplish. I only point out what they miss. Perhaps a better word to describe myself would be a perfectionist, a dictator, or worse, a Pharisee!
Can you picture this man in John 5 who has been sick for thirty-eight years? We know very little about this man other than nobody would help him. Surely many people recognized this man who lay immobilized for decades. Therefore, it must have been quite obvious to see him walking around without a single ailment.
How would you have responded if you had witnessed this miracle? Would you have pointed him out to your friend? Would you have run up to him, hugged him, danced with him?
The Jewish leaders responded immediately. “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat” (John 5:10 NLT)! They were so consumed with external obedience that they overlooked the healing.
After I read this verse, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. What’s your first response to your children? Do you look at your child as a whole or do you choose certain actions and behavior? Are you so consumed with training your child that you’re not seeing their fruits of obedience?
My friends, I encourage you to focus on the miracles, not the methods! Look at what God is doing, not on how it’s done, when it’s done, or the times it’s simply not done. In regard to our children, we can laugh a little at the notion that sometimes their obedience feels like a miracle. Even when it’s sporadic, go ahead and affirm your child!
We can stop at this parenting lesson, but let’s dig deeper. What’s so amazing about Jesus in this chapter is that He doesn’t stop with the miracle, but continues with an Easter message. He could have left it as a lesson on the heart of Sabbath and healing, but He tells everyone, “My Father is always working, and so am I” (John 5:17 NLT). What is He working on? Establishing His Kingdom!
You see, the healing of this man wasn’t merely a miracle. It was a foreshadowing: “the Father will show [Christ] how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants” (John 5:20-21 NLT).
Jesus then lays out the Gospel message: “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24 NLT).
When it comes to salvation, there’s no nitpicking. We don’t have to be perfect to be saved; in fact, the Bible says we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Jesus came so we could be free from the bondage of sin and He gives us the grace to follow Him.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Do you have a life situation where you feel immobile? Ask Jesus to give you His strength so that you may pick up your mat and walk.
- Affirm, affirm, affirm! Choose to make today a day that you look at the positives in your children, your husband, and yourself!
- If your toddler wet her pants, don’t get upset. (I still feel remorse—and this was nine years ago— so try to not follow my mistakes). Look at it as an opportunity to spend time together getting cleaned and changed.
- If your child helps you make dessert and the presentation leaves something to be desired, don’t re-do it! Proudly show off her work to the family.
- If your child comes home with a poor grade on a test, affirm everything he did right!