John 5:6-9, 14
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked…
John 5 is perhaps one of the most captivating stories in the Bible. It is here we see the miraculous phenomenon of the angel from heaven coming down at a certain season to trouble the waters. And it was during this troubling, or literally stirring, of the water where people from all diseases and handicaps were healed by the supernatural power of God. There are a lot of angles to talk about from this story alone, but what I want to focus on for this blog is what I feel to be one of the most critical elements of Christianity. Jesus came to this man, whom the Bible says had laid here paralyzed for 38 years, and asks him an important question. Will you be made whole? The man replies, Sir I have no man to help me! Every time I try and make my way to the water, someone always beats me to it! This man mistakenly thought Jesus was mad at him, and so he tries to explain his condition. He thought Jesus was condemning him for being that way for that long, but Jesus wasn’t condemning him, he was measuring his faith.
This man’s response reveals what I believe is the greatest hindrance to humanity. This lame man’s limited understanding told him, that if he would be delivered, it would require someone else getting involved and pushing him across that threshold. This is the mentality of our world; we view the opinion of doctors, lawyers and counselors as equal to God. You say no, then why is it a doctor can pronounce our death, and a preacher under the anointing can proclaim life, and we believe the doctors reports instead. Living with this mentality will prevent you from ever being complete.
In Luke 17, 10 lepers come to Jesus pleading for mercy. Their leprosy had ruined their lives, it isolated them from society and loved ones, it created a stigma ad caused them to be viewed as second class citizens. Jesus gives them odd advice, he tells them to go show themselves to the priest. Now this was probably viewed as ridiculous, after all it was the priest who labeled them unclean in the first place. But the Bible says that as they went, something happened. Their obedience to the word of God brought healing. But one leper decided to return back to Jesus and worship Him! 9 Jewish boys were still headed back to the priest, but one man who by the ay was a Samaritan decided to give God praise for his healing. This Samaritan knew what it was like to be labeled, he knew what it was like to be a second class citizen, he knew what it was like to be considered a dog and scum. Those church boys were headed to the priest, because they needed a word of confirmation, to affirm them that Jesus had just healed them; and they lived the rest of their lives with the scars and wounds of their past.
One man said, if God said it, that’s good enough for me! And when this man comeback, without the approval and affirmation of man, Jesus said your faith has made you whole! His obedience to his word brought healing, but when he released his faith to receive the word, he was made completely whole!
Most of us live our lives in obedience to the word of God, and because of that Jesus has already begun a work in your life. You’re not who you used to be, you’re not still bound by your past. But if you sit around and wait for someone to approve or affirm your new lifestyle, you will always struggle with the scars of your past! But if you will allow your faith to be released to receive the word as it is written, then completion is headed your way Someone needs to make up your mid, If Jesus says I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven; If Jesus says I’m healed, then I’m healed!!I don’t need a doctor’s approval, I don’t need a lawyers approval, I don’t need man’s affirmation, If you said it I believe it and I’m worshiping you for it!
So Jesus doesn’t waste any more time, he tells the man I’m about to prove to you that you don’t need man, all you need is me! Now get up, pick up your bed and walk! And the Bible says immediately! Was he healed? No! He was made whole! He didn’t argue semantics, methods or process; he received the word of God and said that’s good enough for me! And his faith made him whole! Some of you wonder, how do I go beyond just a healing and move on from these scars of my past? The answer? Stop relying on people and programs to affirm your new lifestyle and just learn to trust God and believe him for his word! If God has called you, then know God will sustain you!!! But you must allow your mind to be released from the prison of human affirmation! Healing came through obedience, wholeness comes from faith!
The adulterous woman was caught in the act and was drug like a dog to the feet of Jesus to be judged. Those religious people stood there in their self righteousness, and quoted the words of Moses. Moses says she should be stoned, but what do you say Jesus? Jesus responds, he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. The conviction of mercy caused them to one by one drop their stones of judgement and walk away slowly. Jesus then looks at this woman, and asks her, where are thine accusers? Does anyone condemn thee? She says no man sir, and Jesus says neither do I condemn thee. Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more. Notice that this woman still believed she was guilty because the people said she was guilty. What I find fascinating is that Jesus doesn’t call the people condemners, he calls them accusers. Why does he do this? Because the only person with the power to condemn is the person with the power to save! If you don’t have the power to save anybody, you don’t have the power to condemn anybody! Jesus is trying to change her mentality! All her life she listened to the voices of men tell her she was worthless, that she was trash; all her life she was used and abused by the very men she sought to please. But Jesus not only said your sins are forgiven, he said go and sin no more! He wasn’t telling her to never commit another sin, that is humanly impossible; rather he was telling her I have just released you from the bondage of the sins of your past, and I am releasing you from the influence of sin in your future!
He was releasing her from the prison of human affirmation! He was telling her no longer will you need a man to validate you, no longer will you depend on man’s affirmation to tell you what you’re worth; but now the God of glory is here telling you YOU’RE VALUABLE! Some of you have been depending on human affirmation to make you feel valuable for long enough; but God wants to deliver his people from this prison! Your value doesn’t come from people, your value comes from God! Until we can be delivered from this mental prison, we will never experience completeness. As long as we are dependent on human affirmation we will always conform to the opinions of others, but God wants a people to be secure in Him! Completeness comes when we realize that God is for me; and if God be for me it doesn’t matter what is against me! For Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world!
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Why? Because trusting in human affirmation from fickle carnal people will leave you broken, hurt and confused. But trusting in God and his word, will not only bring you life, but life more abundantly!