Who Are You Looking For?

As John 5 opens, an interesting scene is set before us. The pool of Bethesda is occasionally imbued with healing powers, but only for the first person to get into the water after the angel stirs the pool.

There sits a man who has been lame for thirty-eight years. He explains that he has been unable to receive healing in all that time, because nobody would help him. He was looking to other people for help, and placed blame on them for failing to provide the aid he desired.

Jesus, with just a word is able to provide that healing. We often make the same mistake. We look to others for answers, for help, or a place to lay our blame. Meanwhile, we could simply look to Jesus and be whole. Who are you looking for?


The Man Believed

I cannot even imagine the pain and anguish that comes with watching your child slowly die of some illness. I really would rather not, but my heart goes out to those who have walked that vale. Such was the case with an unnamed father from Capernaum.

He had heard that Jesus was in Galilee, and so he set out, desperate, looking for the Great Physician to heal his son. When he finally found the Savior at Cana, he made a desperate plea to come and heal the child who was now on his death bed (John 4:47).

Certainly he did not expect the rebuff that Jesus offered, but being desperate as he was, he plead again for the Savior to come.

Success! Jesus simply replied, “Go your way; your son lives” (John 4:50). We are not told how long the father had searched, but we can know that it was about a sixteen mile hike back home through the hills of Galillee. On level ground, this would have taken about five hours. This was his ONE shot.

Without doubt. Without question. He turned, and began the journey home. It was faith that turned his feet homeward. Simple, unquestioning obedience. THAT is a saving faith.


We have Heard HIm Ourselves

The Samaritan woman knew that when she had found Jesus, she had found something precious. Something that MUST be shared. So, she ran into the city and told everybody she could about the Master. Based on her word, they came out of the city and asked Jesus to stay and teach, which He did for two whole days!

After hearing Jesus teach, they declared “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42) Certainly, they were grateful to the woman for telling them about the Savior, but eternity is too important to simply trust what another says about salvation, no matter how honest and reliable they may seem.

Like the Samaritans that day, we must each take the time to hear Jesus for ourselves, and believe, not because of what somebody else says, but because of what He says through the writing of Scripture.

Don’t take my word for it, or your preacher’s, or your friends, or anybody else’s for that matter. Hear the Master yourself, and believe because of His Word.


Food You Don’t Know About

When Jesus’ disciples returned to find Him at the well speaking to the Samaritan woman they had brought Him food. He refused the meal, saying, “I have food to eat that you do not know about” (John 4:32). They were a little confused. Nobody had brought Him any food. What was He eating?

Nothing. He went on to explain that it was filling for Him to simply do the will of God. That was His sole purpose in life, and therefore His daily focus.

Of course, to do God’s will, you have to know what it is. Jesus had miraculous knowledge. Since we don’t, we must spend time studying the Bible to know God’s will.

From there, we each have a question to answer. Is it enough for you simply to do what God desires? Regardless of your own beliefs or wishes? It must be.


God Is Looking For Worship

Worship is an activity that is central to any religion, and certainly to Christianity. There are many different styles of worship, and opinions about how, where, why, and with whom it should be done. This is not a new phenomenon. The Jews and Samaritans had sharp disagreements with one another, and even amongst themselves about worship.

When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus which group was correct, He speaks of a third group of worshippers that she had not considered. This group is the one that God is not only happy with but is actively seeking! These are the true worshippers (John 4:23-24).

The very idea of true worshippers means that those who are not true worshippers must be false worshippers. This should get our attention.
The true worshippers worship the Father, not some other God. They worship Him in spirit. Their heart and emotion are poured into worship. It is not just a dry ceremony. They also worship Him in truth, that is, in the way that the truth of God’s Word specifies (John 17:17).

How do you worship God? Are you part of the group He is looking for?


Never Thirst Again!

The Samaritan woman knew the path to the well intimately. Her feet had traversed its stones and gravel thousands of times. The work of drawing water and hauling it back to town was back-breaking, and she repeated it every day.

When Jesus mentioned that He could offer water that would be a continual supply of nourishment and refreshment, she wanted to know how to get it. Of course, He wasn’t talking about literal water. He was talking of the spiritual truth that He offered; truth that provides hope and light in a world of darkness and uncertainty. Truth that provides salvation and peace with God.

While your cup of coffee will be empty before you finish reading this article, the truth of God’s Word is something that you can return to and draw from again and again. While following Jesus does not eliminate the drudgeries of daily life, it gives purpose, guidance, and hope that gives new meaning to even the smallest of tasks. It gives the context of eternity to the daily struggles, and like the forgotten water pot, makes them seem insignificant when compared to the blessings Jesus can give.


Jesus Knows You

Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in John 4 is full of compassion. Jesus crossed several social barriers to spend time teaching this woman.

The words that He had for her were exactly what she needed at the time. She had come with the drudgery of life, performing a daily task, and left to tell others about Jesus and bring them to Him.

Of all the things that Jesus had said to her, what seemed to impress her the most was the fact that He knew her. He knew things about her that she would rather keep hidden and that perhaps she hadn’t really admitted to herself.

Jesus knows you in the same way. He knows your dark secrets and the struggles that you face. And He can give you what you need.


God So Loved The World

John 3:16 is probably the most famous verse in the Bible, and it is easy to see why. It tells us of God, the greatest lover. So, the greatest measure. Loved, the greatest motivation. The world, the greatest company. That He gave, the greatest act. His only begotten Son, the greatest gift. That whosoever, the greatest offer. Believeth in Him, the greatest truth. Should not perish, the greatest mercy. But have eternal life, the greatest hope. 

It is important to note that this gift is not without condition. Those who do not believe will not receive it. It is in this same chapter that Jesus speaks about the opposite of belief: disobedience.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (v. 36 ESV). 
If you believe what Jesus says, then you will obey it, and the gift and the hope will be yours. But if you do not obey, then clearly you do not truly believe. 

Do you believe in Him? Are you willing to obey whatever He says? Eternity depends on it.


You Must Be Born Again

Jesus’ response to Nicodemus was an ultimatum. Be born again, or miss out on the Kingdom of God (v. 3). Nicodemus, the smart man that he was, seemed a little confused by this idea, as do many people in our day.

While Nicodemus mentions it, Jesus never addresses the idea of natural childbirth. Instead, He focuses on a spiritual concept: Being born into the Kingdom of God.

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4-5).

That purification of spirit and new birth happens when we obey the truth of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:22-23). There is no way around it. If we hope to have a home in Heaven, then we must be born again.

This new birth is a new beginning, marking a pivotal moment in life when your thoughts and behavior patterns are forever changed (Romans 6:1ff).


Slow To Accept Him

Some people heartily embrace the Gospel the first time that they hear it. They are eagerly searching for the salvation that Jesus offers. Others never give the Gospel a fair hearing, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Still, others desire truth, but for one reason or another are slow to embrace it.

Such was Nicodemus. In John 3 he came to Jesus by night. Jesus had been openly teaching and working miracles, but Nicodemus waited for the veil of darkness to approach the Savior. He knew that Jesus spoke the truth, but came with questions.

It isn’t until after Jesus’ death that he is numbered with the followers of Christ. What about you? Are you willing to accept the truth when you find it? Or is something holding you back like Nicodemus?

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