Today, I am looking at John 5:1-21. In this passage, Jesus heals an invalid at the pool of Bethesda.
The verses that caught my eye are verses 19-20:
“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” (emphasis mine)
As I look at this passage, I see a few things:
1. When Jesus wanted to help someone, he was criticized because he broke the social norm of those around him.
The question for us is: are we willing to step out of our ‘socially acceptable’ realm to help someone? I don’t think we have a problem with this if we step out of our world to help people, like going to a mission to help people. The problem comes when we are challenged to bring people who don’t ‘fit’ into our social realm. Like being nice to that person in the office that nobody likes, or inviting a homeless person to join us for lunch.
2. Jesus didn’t help every hurting person he ran into. How did he know who to help? He watched and listened. He could see when God was moving. He could do what God was asking him to do in the moment.
The challenge to us is to know God and to walk slowly enough to see when He is working. When is giving of ourselves just works – trying to do what is right – and when is it doing God’s work – because we know God has asked us to do it? The answer is in verse 19 – looking to see what the Father is doing, and do it in like manner.
In The Matrix, they notices something in the program had changed when they saw a glitch in the pattern – often a cat would appear or appear twice quickly. Watching for God works much the same way – recognizing patterns and watching for changes. Here are some pattern changes I have noticed in recent days:
- I have been in my dentist office once a week or so for several weeks due to getting everyone’s teeth updated. The ladies there now know me by name. God is calling me (this time) to pray for them.
- The front office lady at my kids’ school now knows me by voice. I am getting to know her personally – God is calling me to listen and pray.
- Not so long ago, one of the managers at my grocery store left her duties and walked me out to my car. God was giving me an opportunity to get to know her a bit. If I am diligent in praying and waiting, God will deepen this relationship so I can intercede for her in specific situations.
- Not too long ago, someone I don’t know just out of the blue told me an incredibly amount of personal information in the space of about 10 minutes. I won’t ever see this person again, but God gave me that opportunity to share His love and hope for her situation.
What situations is God opening up for you to be part of what He is doing? This week, let’s pray that God will help us to walk slowly, to listen, and to be willing to love on people as He brings them to us.