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Daily Devotional for February 22


February 22                                                            John 5:1-18

     "When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been
        lying there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you
                            want to be healed?' "

For those who lay by the pool of Bethesda there was a system
for healing. The sick had to wait for the angel of the Lord to
stir up the waters. The first one into the pool got the healing.

The poor man in the story never got there first. Someone else
always got the healing. Perhaps he was so used to someone
else getting healed that he no longer expected to be healed.
After all, he'd been sick for thirty-eight years! When Jesus by-
passed the process and said, "Do you want to be healed?" the
man perhaps had to think about it. He tried to explain why
he wasn't healed. This time Jesus by-passed his excuse and said,
"Rise, take up your pallet, and walk."

This healing caused a great commotion among the Jews because
it happened on the Sabbath. Jesus had once again by-passed
the rules. The healed man by-passed the law as well, by
carrying his bed on the Sabbath.

Jesus consistently overcame the barriers to healing. Those of
us who become whole in Jesus Christ soon begin to act as
lawlessly. We too can by-pass all of life's artificial barriers
which keep people away from wholeness. A time comes when
excuses must be laid aside. Into our pain and suffering the word
of Christ comes to say, "Do you want to be healed?" To all
our hesitations the Lord speaks: "Rise, take up your pallet,
and walk."

          Jesus, I know you broke a lot of other people's
      rules to include me in your realm. People get angry
   at me for considering myself included. But it's you who
  did it. I want to be as bold in healing others as you were
     with me. I know that you can work in me to continue
           the restoration of my life. Thank you for what
                    you have done, and for what you
                                 are about to do.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.198

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