Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the second sermon in a 5 sermon series on spiritual wholeness.

Wholeness begins once a relationship with God is established (John 5:8,9)

As we continue this series on “We can also be made whole” I would like to offer what I hope is a key ingredient to our wholeness. That key ingredient is this, “Wholeness begins once a relationship with God is established.”

We can be whole in life and it is God’s delight in helping us to become whole. Yes, there are countless scriptures pointing us to the ideology that God is concerned about God’s people and desires that God’s people have the best that life has to offer. But in the same vein, there are also conditions that must be met before any of God’s children begin to receive what is ultimately our God given blessings.

The infirmed man that was introduced on last week is being directed by Jesus in verse 8 of John 5 to do something. Jesus simply says to him, get up, gather your belongings and leave this place. On the surface, this may not appear to be anything abnormal at least as far as Jesus is concerned because there are various references of healing that Jesus was instrumental in initiating in the Bible.

The critical thing for us to remember in this instance is that this directive was made to someone who hadn’t done much of anything for many years. We read of his infirmity and are made to believe that

this man had a serious physical challenge.

Now, in a matter of one encounter with Jesus, he is being asked to get up from a place where he obviously had to be assisted to get there. Then to top all of that, Jesus insists that the man literally move the very object he had been resting upon hoping that

a healing would occur for him if he could get into the pool at the appropriate time.

Just try to put yourself in this man’s shoes. Imagine being paralyzed for almost 40 years from the waist down. You have forgotten what it is to be able to crawl less more walk or run. You only have memories of what it feels like to be independent. If this was an

actual scenario, would you be optimistic and respond with enthusiasm if someone comes up to you out of the blue and says to you, get up from that hospital bed and go home.

I can only speak for myself and say that I probably would have a hard time even dealing with someone coming up to me suggesting that I do what Jesus suggested. Many of you would also probably struggle with the idea as well.

It is simply a human reaction to question something out of the norm when we have no frame of reference for a different reality.

This is why there are persons in life living in poverty when they could actually be living prosperous. It is also why there are persons still living defeated lives in bondage to things that are counter to their well being. Unless there is something that comes to us and helps us to see that things can be different for us, we will continue to have the mindset that we have.

The saving grace for Christians is this, something has happened and someone has done something for humanity to give us the confidence to get beyond any situation, lifestyle, addiction, negative behavior or mindset. We who espouse to the Christian faith identify with a man Jesus who makes the impossible, possible.

Although the instructions that Jesus gave this infirmed man could be seen as highly abnormal given his present state, the man did comply with the directive.

As Jesus spoke the words, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” The Bible tells us that the man was

made whole or healed on the spot. It further tells us that the man did comply with the directive and gathered his belongings and went about his merry way.

We have no idea as to what was going on in this man’s mind. We have no indication as the time of day that this miracle took place. We don’t even know what type of clothing the man was wearing. None of that is important!

What’s really important for us is to recognize and acknowledge for ourselves that our wholeness begins once a relationship with God is established.

Prior to the day indicated in scripture, the man highlighted lived a life of physical brokenness. He was not in a physical state to do as others were able to do. He had to have been dependent upon others to do for him. He did not know what it was like to freely come and go as he desired. But now, after meeting Jesus, things definitely were different.

Everything was changed. He could carry out all of the desires he once had but could only dream about because of his physical state. He met Jesus or better yet Jesus met him in his state and made him whole. Can you picture this man getting up on his own?

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Tim Matthews

commented on Nov 20, 2006

I especially appreciate that last four paragraphs.

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