Poolside Sabbath

Today is the Sabbath, a day of rest to bask in God’s presence and refrain from work.  Susan, my wife, has worked over 50 hours in the last three days alone.  Needless to say she is wiped out.  And in two days we will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary (checks can be made out to Matthew and Susan.. j/k).  That being said we took the opportunity to spend the day together.  The goal was to drive up the coast of Connecticut to find a beach where the three of us (Mia came along too) could chill together.  While the drive up Route 167 was gorgeous, we could not find one public beach where we could park and enjoy the sights.  So we had to settle for lunch at a marina.  Wanting to be able to get in the water, we came back home to go to the pool.

Over the past few days, I have found myself re-engaging in devotional time with God in His Word.  This is not to say that I had stopped entirely, but I felt that my devotional time had come to a place of complacency, as there was no real consistency or direction.  So along with some prayer and encouraging conversations with some friends, I committed to reading the corresponding chapter for the day out of Proverbs as well as some out of another book of the Bible, which I have picked the Gospel of John.  When we made it out to the poolside, I opened to the chapter where I had left off yesterday, Chapter 5.  The title here is “The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath.” (I actually laughed out loud… truly it is the LIVING WORD!) A couple of things stuck out to be about this story that I want to share with you.

1 – JESUS GOES WHERE FUNKY PEOPLE ARE – Jesus goes to Jerusalem for a feast.  Upon arrival he makes a b-line for the pool of Bethesda, you know the one by the Sheep Gate.  Who are there?  “A multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.” (:3) I love this about Jesus, He ALWAYS initiates!  He goes right into the cesspool of society to reveal His Father’s love and power!

2 – JESUS WANTS TO HEAR FROM US – While it may be obvious to us that these people want to be healed, Jesus doesn’t take it for granted.  He turns to one of the invalids who had been this way for 38 years and asks him, “Do you want to be healed?” (:6) Honestly, had I been there that day and overheard this question I would have laughed as it is bordering on ridiculous to ask an invalid that question.  But the more I think about it, two things dawn on me.  1) Not everyone wants to be healed.  I mean really, truly, honestly wants to be healed; and 2) Jesus wants to hear us articulate our need.

Have you ever met someone who seems perfectly content living in his or her funk?  It is as though they have resigned themselves to living in sin, brokenness, poverty, shamefulness, etc.  Their family members and friends look on and shake their head realizing that they have so much more potential, but they chose to remain in the situation they are in.  In some respects the saying is true that Jesus will help those who help themselves.  Jesus tells the man, “take up your bed and walk” and “at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” (:8,9)

I don’t know about you today, but I am tired of being hypocritical, stagnant, lying around in my complacency and accepting mediocracy!  I believe that Jesus is coming to me and you today, meeting us in our funk and telling us to stand up and walk as sons and daughters of the most High God.  How do we do it?  How about “take up your cross and follow Him!” (Luke 9:23)

Blessings from the poolside!

Posted on by Matthew Gamble in Articles

About Matthew Gamble

Communicator, Consultant, Coach. Founder of a non-profit VagaBondservant Int'l that takes me all over the world exploring the life and teachings of Jesus.

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