Day 12: Get out of your own way
Trying to find your way through a maze can be hard. Especially if you get distracted. Sometimes distractions, external and internal, can stall, paralyze, or even misdirect our efforts.
Hey look! A squirrel!
There I was, passionately arguing my point of view about a cultural-political situation. I think it was the intersection of Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy with the rise of the merchant class in Europe. Not interested. Neither was the person I was talking to. As I saw the blank stare of their face, I embarrassingly said, “Sorry, how did I end up talking about this?” They said, “Beats me, we were talking about how rainy it was.”
Sometimes I get distracted.
What do you “see” in this story of this man who Jesus healed?
- Do you “see” Jesus healing the man?
- Do you “see” all the other people Jesus did not heal that day?
- Do you “see” the weird reaction by the religious people of the day?
- Something else?
Maybe you see all these angles. You certainly can explore all those different points of view.
I just don’t want us to get distracted, and so I ask, “What is the point of them?”
For me there is one. When you connect with Jesus for the first time, it brings you joy and often causes conflict around you.
Let me say that again. When you personally, for the first time, connect with Jesus, it brings you joy and often causes conflict around you.
Jesus healing this man is powerful, and right on the tails of healing the boy in chapter 4. For whatever reason the other people (the “multitudes” in 5:3) did not connect with Jesus. We do not know why.
For the man who did connect, his life changed. In this instance, it was physical healing. Last chapter with the woman at the well, it was emotional and spiritual. Our lives will change in any number of ways.
Others will often – not always, but often – react. The religious of Jesus’ day react for a number of reasons. One is that their power and way of thinking is being challenged. We will have more time in the coming days to look at their motives. Today, simply note: they don’t like people meeting Jesus.
I wonder what the others who were sick thought? I wonder if he went back to them? The story seems to indicate the man was very isolated. Maybe he isolated himself?
As I speak with people about Jesus, they often “see” all the situations around Him. In fact, those distractions lead them to sort of “live in their head” about Jesus, without ever really simply meeting Him.