Wednesday, January 25, 2017

“Hey, Jesus, this isn’t the way to the temple!”

Monday 12-19-16, Modesto, California, USA
Today we read John 5 - 6

S. John 5:8-10 Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!" Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!" NLT

O. It was Jesus’ day off… the Sabbath and a special feast holiday, too. So here comes the King of all kings into the most important city in Israel. God has sent His Son to establish His kingdom on earth. His disciples are following Him. “Hey, Jesus, this isn’t the way to the temple! Where are You taking us anyway? This isn’t a good neighborhood, You know.” What is drawing the Savior down into this neighborhood? A pool with 5 porches crowded by people suffering with long-term illnesses! This King is always attracted to the needy. His keen ears have heard their cries. Check it out. Jesus is drawn to a famous sinner up in a tree. He stops the parade for the call of a blind beggar. Today it’s Bethesda. That is what brought Him from His throne above to this filthy world. Needy sinners, both healthy and sick were like magnets to this King.

A. 1973: Four of us missionaries had chosen to start four new churches in the Capital city of Buenos Aires. One of my fellow missionaries was especially talented to reach the wealthy, so he rightfully chose a classy neighborhood. Two others chose middle-working-class areas. Why was I finding myself drawn to the neighborhood called La Boca, an area filled with poverty stricken families crammed into crowded tenement houses? I knew I had been created for this hour. The Jesus within me was pulling me, like a magnet, into the pit of poverty, sin and debauchery. My vision was limited to maybe rent a little hole in the wall for a rescue mission. But God had bigger plans. I fell in love with these needy people and God gave us a great harvest and a powerful church that has today produced 110 pastors, counting their wives.

P. Okay, Jesus. I get it. You haven’t changed. You are the same “Yesterday, today and forever.” You are still drawn to sinners, educated or not, healthy or sick, wealthy or needy. But I got the easy ones, for many of the educated, healthy and wealthy have difficulty seeing their spiritual need… but when a sinner is at the bottom of the pit, he or she is inclined to look up and recognize their need for You, their Savior. Thanks for sending me to La Boca. Amen.


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