the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Honouring his Father’s law, and at the same time availing himself of the concourse of people to spread the gospel.
John 5:2 , John 5:3
Jesus was sure to go where he was most needed, seeking those who could not come to him.
A question probably needed to excite his hope, which had grown languid through long waiting and frequent disappointments. The question may well be put to those who have for years been seeking salvation in the use of the outward means of grace without success.
As if to prove his anxiety to be healed, the man mentioned his friendless condition in a very pitiful and humble manner. Sinners should imitate this man, and lay their helpless cases before the Good Physician.
Leave off watching and waiting, believe my word, and rise. This is the way in which the gospel ends all our natural endeavours and tarryings by an immediate and saving command. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and wait no longer at the pool,” is the one precept of the gospel.
Faith in the almighty word of Jesus brings immediate healing to our souls. Why, then, do so many linger year after year, waiting for they know not what? Angels will not now come from heaven, nor could they save us if they did; but there is life eternal in the message of mercy, and if we will obey it, salvation is ours at once.
He could not quote better authority for what he had done than the word of one who was proved to be divine by the cure which he had wrought. Observe that where Jesus works a gracious cure he also bestows an obedient mind, so that his commands become law to us henceforth.
John 5:12 , John 5:13
Salvation may come to those who have but scanty knowledge. If we believe in the person and word of Jesus we shall be taught more of both by-and-by.
Those who are healed need to be instructed, lest they err again. It becomes all who have received any measure of grace to watch against the returns of sin, which may bring them into yet deeper trouble. Happy for us is it that our Lord does not leave us after he has restored us, but visits us with his divine teachings by the Holy Spirit.
Lame at the pool I long have been,
Waiting to find relief;
Lord, I have none to put me in
And wash away my grief.
Speak thou, and give my soul to hear;
Thy word can make me whole.
Lord, I believe, and leap for joy,
For thou hast saved my soul.
“Jesus Christ is Lord.”
When the Jews upbraided our Lord for working a miracle upon the Sabbath, he replied with overwhelming arguments.
The processes of nature, which are the work of God, are not stopped upon the Sabbath. God and his Christ are above all law. Men themselves could not keep the Sabbath if the power of God were not in action to keep them alive.
John 5:19 , John 5:20
He declared his own unity and equality with God, even though it excited yet greater wrath against him.
He never acted apart from the Father; he was always the Word of God.
He waives the usual objection that a man cannot bear witness to himself, and cites other evidence.
His appeal is to the Scripture which they themselves reverenced. Truly it teems with testimony concerning him.
Alas, this is still true of mankind!
Of the Father’s love begotten,
Ere the world began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending he.
This is that divine Messiah
Promised in the faithful word,
Whom the voices of the prophets
Heralded with one accord.
Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
Hymn, and psalm, and high thanksgiving,
And unwearied praises be!