Later Jesus found [the man who was healed] at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:14
The man who was an invalid for 38 years gets the physical healing he wants. Jesus slips away into the crowd before the man realizes who healed him. The next time they meet, Jesus warns him to stop sinning. The consequence of sin is separation from God. Being ill for 38 years is not as bad as being separated from God now and for eternity. Jesus is still asking, “Do you want to get well?” but on the inside, where sin needs to be taken care of.
Joni Eareckson Tada, a well-known Christian author and speaker, has been paralyzed for 55 years from a diving accident. Most people assume she’s looking forward to a new body when she gets to heaven. But in an interview on the Gospel Coalition website, she says, “I’m looking forward to the new heart, a heart free of manipulating others…a heart free of fudging the truth…hogging the spotlight…I just can’t wait to have a heart free of sin.” Joni understands healing doesn’t just mean unpleasant circumstances get better, but our heart also needs transformation. This is the healing Jesus wants for the man and us too.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Are you always thinking about getting what you want in the here and now? Consider what Jesus says in John 10:9-10, “I am the gate [to heaven]; whoever enters through me will be saved…I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full.” Are you living life to the full through Jesus? If not, talk with your small group leader or a trusted Christian friend about what this looks like.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.