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Letter Forty Two

Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?

Dear sister,

While the disciples have been away on their mission, Jesus continues to minister to those around him in Jerusalem. We had an interesting experience at the pool of Bethesda where disabled people come to be healed. It is believed that at times an angel comes and stirs the water. The first person to then step into the pool will get healed. I thought that Jesus might go from person to person and heal them. But instead, he reached out to just one man. He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Jesus told the man to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

The man was instantly healed.

Jesus left without identifying himself. A few days later, when Jesus saw the man, he warned him to stop sinning or something worse would happen to him. This was a good lesson for me to hear. When I help others with their suffering, I must also urge them to turn from sin and seek to live a righteous life. When we choose to live in disobedience, this impacts our spiritual, relational, emotional, and even physical health.

The sad part of this encounter at the Pool of Bethesda was the reaction of the religious leaders who were there at the time. They never rejoiced that this man was healed after thirty-eight years of suffering. All they focused on was that he was carrying a mat on the Sabbath. They scolded him for breaking the Sabbath laws. When they found out that Jesus had told him to pick up his mat and walk, they went after Jesus. They did not even talk to him about his power to heal. Instead, they persecuted him for working on the Sabbath.

Once again, Jesus spoke with wisdom and authority. He delivered a message that evoked great anger in many Jews. In fact, they even wanted to kill him. He shared how the Father loves the Son. He said that he can raise the dead and give life to anyone he pleases. Jesus made it clear that he only does what the Father tells him to do and judges only those whom the Father calls him to judge. The statement that most enraged them was when he said: “the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”

Sister, you have written that you are worried about me. Yes, the days are becoming more dangerous. The religious leaders want to kill Jesus. Perhaps they will persecute me as well. But my Master is the Son of God who has the words of eternal life! I have no choice but to follow him and lay down my life for him.

Following my Master no matter what,

your Big Sister

Today’s Bible Reading: John 5

Today’s Application:

Jesus’ words in John 5 make it clear that He is God. Yes, God came to earth and in the gospels, we can read many of the very words He spoke to the disciples.  Jesus not only came to earth to give us eternal life, but also to teach us to live each day for God’s kingdom purpose to bring the Father glory.  It is easy to go through our day never thinking about God. In fact, Satan would want us to go through our whole lives ignoring God. However, we are not to live for our own agenda and desires. Jesus says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). As you go throughout your day, ask the Lord how you can serve and glorify him in all you are doing, saying, and thinking.

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