and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ “ John 5:10-11 (NIV)
The person who senses a faint desire to turn to the Lord will come up soon against one age old argument. It is a very large theme and some people never proceed past it no matter how many years are allotted them. When mankind considers God in all His righteousness, we see our own waywardness in drastic contrast. We want to do something about it. So we look to the guidelines left available to us. Many commandments have been given. Many churches and religions have grown up upon these foundations. All should more than help us approach God and purify our lives. All intention behind every pure act should have the same ultimate goal of directing us to, and bringing us to the Lord. But for all our structure and instruction, is it far too easy to forget the “Who” in what we are talking about? Despite all our best intentions, can we, and do we, so often lose sight of “Who” we should be listening to?
A man had been lying crippled for 38 years. That is a long time to wait to be healed. It is a long time to wait to be able to walk again. Jesus comes along and tells the man to pick up his bed and start walking. So the man does just what Jesus asks him to do. Amazing! Miracle! A moment of faith and a man is healed. A word from Jesus and the powers of evil that held him are broken! A man is now free to walk again! Jesus asked him to do just that. He told him to get up and go. But where are all the other people looking? Are they looking at the miracle that came from listening to Jesus? Or do they prefer to look at their structure? Are they so hung up on their traditions, interpretations and ideology that they just missed the very touch of God?
So when we decide to contemplate our stand with Jesus, is it going to be important just Who we look to? Will we need to make up our minds really soon to either listen to Him or focus on the impressions of others? Will we each personally need to decide in Whom to put our trust? If we decide to follow our fellow peers, do we think we will be doing a lot of discovering of Christ? Should we each turn first in earnest to Jesus? Shall we all try to approach Him ourselves? Shall we develop a relationship with Him? Shall we get extremely used to bringing EVERYTHING to Him? Shall we accustom ourselves to listening for His voice? Will we need His council first to then weigh all the other information which we gleam from those around us? Should we keep ever present WHO we are listening to?
Dear Jesus, are you asking us today to get up and walk? Would You have us healed and moving right now? Please let us look past all that the clamorous world would tell us. Let us focus on You! Let us hear Your voice as You guide and direct us! Teach us to look ever to You. Never let us trust our familiar systems or ideals. But rather seek to engage with You personally in every instant. There with our attention upon You, we may just find the healing we needed all along. We may find that You will give us the power to stand, to move and to follow wherever You will lead! Let us make sure that it is You Whom we listen to today!