We have all had the experience of a pastor preaching and it seems like everyone around us fades away and we stand alone in the crowd. It is as if the Holy Lord God Almighty is peering at us alone and then He asks: Do you want to be saved—healed from your sins? That is the picture we see in John 5. Jesus has a divine appointment in Jerusalem, not for a feast but for a person’s heart. He does not have to go to the pool of Siloam where the invalids lay but he purposes to go there because there lay a man who has been in this invalid condition for over 38 yrs. And so as he so often does, his heart seeks out that one that needs his grace, his love, his tenderness…and then the question is asked—
Do you want to become well? If that were me I think I would not be hesitant to answer: “YES!!” But, listen to this man’s response. Sigh…. “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get into the water, someone else goes down there before me.” He totally ignores the question just like many do today. Sir, I cannot be saved because of thus and so. When I get someone to come alongside me and take me to the church, to the prayer meeting then and perhaps then…. Jesus then ignores his response and moves aside the cobwebs of blameshifting and pity. “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.” His grace is sufficient and is the healing agent that ignores our past and our present because he has a work of grace for our future. His grace must be completed for one reason: that we sin no more but live holy lives in service for him.
And then as the first act reaches its climax we read: (Now that day was a Sabbath.) Why does John tell us this bit of information? It is so that we realize and acknowledge that the day is of little importance, the man’s life and eternity hangs in the balance. It is now or never. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.” Today Beloved Friend, there is someone who needs to hear the message of salvation; it is now or never. Tomorrow may never come and this person may stand before the Father just as defiled as this paralyzed man. He could not attend worship, he could not beg on the streets, he could not (you fill in the blank).
What divine appointment is God planning for you today? Are you ready to share it with someone who is pitifully laying amongst the crowd waiting to hear “Do you want to become saved?” Beware of listening to their pitiful blameshifting but push forward to tell them the good news. They are waiting for someone, you or I, to pull them aside out of the crowd and ask: Do you know Jesus? If you were to die today where would you spend eternity? Be bold! Be brave! You and I have the message to bring them new life. We can bring them to the Savior and proclaim the message of salvation. Will we do it?