By: Justin Henry
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I met a family the other day who has three special needs children. Upon this discovery, I immediately, and excitedly, began telling them about Buddy Break and the special needs ministry that occurs at Life. As we spoke, I was saddened to hear that over the last several years; this woman had been to a church service less than five times without being asked to leave the sanctuary because her special needs child made a noise during service. Or, she was asked to pick up her other child from the nursery because the workers were unsure what to do with a child with Down’s syndrome. I was also very proud of our church for the way we open our arms to everyone in the community.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: In this passage, we see Jesus perform an amazing miracle – a man walks for the first time in 38 years! However, because of some silly man-made rules, the Pharisees focused more on the rule and less on the miracle. Unfortunately, we can get caught up in the same thing today, as evidenced by this poor woman’s story of being “chased“ out of church. It’s easy to get so caught up in our man-made structures and rules that we forget about the actual people involved. As you journey down the road of life, keep in mind that Jesus had no rules about the ones He touched, healed, and loved. And neither should we.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me to notice those around me who need to experience your love, and give me the courage and desire to be your vessel in demonstrating it. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
About the Author: On a mission’s trip to Bolivia several years ago, Justin was broken for the people of God in a way that can only happen on such a trip. After that experience, and several like it, Justin began seeking God’s will more intensely and it has led him to begin the process of entering the mission’s field full-time. Until that time comes, he continues to operate Henry Brothers, a roofing and construction business.