Do You Want? Then Rise Up
† Jesus! Son and Savior! †
My Dear Friends, as Jesus comes to you in your brokenness, and with grace and mercy calls for you to get up and walk… may you trust in His healing, and run to His rest and peace!
Poolside – what else do we need?
Rest – Deep, reviving rest…
For some, it may seem like a dream lifestyle, and once adjusted to it, it might be a little want to change from it.
Imagine, you get to lie out by the pool every day, take in all the sun, have people bring you food, have people attend to your needs…well all but one. Some of us might like that as well – for there was no one that would toss you into the pool!
Sounds like the dream California life, and like I said, once used to it, could you give it up easily?
There was once a man who gave it up, in the course of a few moments,
All it took was one question, and one word of encouragement.
It was then, that this man who had spent 38 years, laying out by the pool, learned finally what it meant… to rest.
It is time to get up – and walk and find some real rest….
The Scene –
I want you to put yourself in the man’s place, to imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, the voice.
The poolside was crowded that day, as it was so many. It would be as crowded as a Palm Springs, Miami or Vegas hotel swimming pool on Spring break, with every spot taken, and people just sitting and laying out, enjoying their week of rest, having people to care for them. Having the staff of the pool caring for their every need.
This pool where the man lay was as crowded, but not with people looking for rest, but desiring to be given an active life, to have a miracle happen that would change everything, that would make them whole. They filled every spot – these blind, weak people, these people who had to have people care for them, because they couldn’t care for themselves. .
I imagine after the first few healings, their attention would be focused on the water with everything they were. Ready like sprinters in the blocks, knowing that the answer to their life would be met with the stirring of the water… but after a few weeks? After a few months?
What about 38 years later..
Was he still as ready? Was he as desiring to get into the water?
Or was He comfortable, and had he made this place a “home”.
It may not be a poolside spot in the sun that has been made our home, our comfort zone. However, each of us can easily tire of this life, and become accustom to a sin, Or maybe we’ve given up on praying for a life that is going to pieces, or we find that we can’t stop that which causes our anxiety. Whatever it is, we can feel blind, weak, paralyzed.
There is a point where the emotional overload, whether pain or guilt or shame or anxiety just pounds us down – and we find ourselves giving up on the possibility of being healed, we think overcoming, or seeing things change… no that’s for others….. We just lie there spiritually depressed and defeated. Not bothering even to ask anyone for help – not even realizing that we can pray for that which we need.
Do you want… then get up…
The authority in that command.
Into this pit of despair, walks a man that draws everyone’s attention. They had heard many things about him, rumors of the healings that run through the families of those who had hoped for healings, and would take any opportunity, consider any remedy, try any curative.
He’s here, everyone is whispering to their neighbors, He’s here….as a thousand desperate eyes, desperate for themselves, desperate for those they love, focus in on this man, followed by a few guys, some of them probably arguing among themselves.
He sets his eyes on one man, the one who has been there so long… and he walks up…and asks….”Do you want to be made whole, do you want to be revived and cleansed?” For those words – get is the word – genesis, and the word for well is the word we get hygienic from. Do you want to become, to be born again…clean, whole, perfect?
There is a part of me, the part of me that is a pastor that loves that the excuse is not considered – that Jesus simply says, “Get up – take away that old mat, and walk. I love the authority, His response, the simple way in which Jesus deals with this man. I wish I had the confidence to do this more, and the wisdom to know when!
It scares me a little as well, as one who wants to walk with Jesus. Does He want me to do likewise? Is Jesus not going to hear my excuses? Will He compel me to get up? Are these words just not to that man, on that mat, besides that pool? Or are they to you and I? Is it time to get up – to abandon the things that hold us back, and walk with Christ?
Friends, He has told us this… and it is time to get up – to leave that old life behind, and walk with Him.
Note what awaits us when we Get up?
As the end of the gospel reading – the last sentence, the last thought seemed like a comment made in oversight – sort of a “o yeah – it was Saturday….” A nice passing comment – I thought at first. It caught my attention, and I thought about it a little more.
The symbolism is phenomenal. The very thing this man was to do, on his first day of wholeness, it to keep Holy the Sabbath. To spend the time with God, in prayer, in reading the word, in the community of the people of God, gathered in His name. Not out of duty, but in prayer and praise, in rejoicing with them in their healing, in God answering their prayers as well.
There, walking with Jesus, we gain what most people look for, when they plan a vacation poolside. We find our burdens lifted off our shoulders, our sins erased, our hearts and souls healing, for He is here, just as He was for that man who laid around for 38 years. Telling us to get up – and to walk up here… and find rest in Him.
This man who had for so long laid by the pool at Bethsaida – translated as the House of cHesed, the House of God’s loving mercy. That man found the strength he needed – not just the strength of body, but the strength of the soul. He didn’t find it himself – he was right – he needed someone’s assistance, and that someone was the Lord, the God who heals, the God who makes whole,
The God who says to you – even as He prepares to feed you with Christ’s body and blood, “get up – get rid of the stuff and walk…. and come – rest with me.”
As you do – may His peace flood over you – and may you realize it guards you – heart and soul for you dwell in Christ. AMEN!