seeing past the bedroll

Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, a man who had been crippled for 38 years. This man had been waiting by the pool at Bethesda for the angel to heal him. But he had no one to put him into the water. So he waited, alone.

Jesus passed by one day and told the crippled man, “Pick up your mat and start walking.” And he did.

Some of the Jews happened to see this healed man walking around with his bedroll on the Sabbath. And they scolded him because he wasn’t following  the lengthy list of rules that they had concocted of what could and couldn’t be done on the Sabbath (ie. not carrying your bedroll around).

They weren’t happy that this man, who had suffered his whole life, could now walk. They didn’t care that this man had been waiting at the pool alone.  They were only interested in everyone following their rules and their agendas because, in their minds, that’s what made them and everyone else good with God, or at the very least, good with them.

So they looked past the healing that had taken place in this man and saw only the bedroll that he was carrying around and the rules he was breaking.

And this is what Jesus says to them, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life…But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.”

Jesus knew that they didn’t really know God because of their lack of love…their lack of care for those around them.

But I realize that seeing only the bedroll,  isn’t just about religious rules that  people try to inflict on each other, it’s about a lack of compassion that encompasses a whole host of things, such as my own need to be right which leads me to compare myself with others and ends in a judgmental, critical spirit that pervades everything at times.

Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing?   (I Cor. 4, MSG)

In the Gospels, when Jesus saw the people around Him,  He was often “moved with compassion.” He realized they were sheep without a shepherd…broken, lonely and desperate for His healing touch.

Jesus understood people’s hearts and motives and loved them, and His love changed them. It still does. 

For me, seeing past the bedroll is about compassion…loving the people around me right where they are, not trying to fix them or change them or judge them. And realizing, too, that they are gifts Abba has so generously given me.


1 Response to “seeing past the bedroll”

  1. 1 shelg
    June 20, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Miss you Kim. I was thinking this morning how I miss these kinds of talks, the ragamuffin kind….the kind that cries out to Jesus, our only hope, knowing deeply the truths you mentioned here. I’ve kind of moved into a place of trying to do too much…so much in fact that I miss Jesus. I miss knowing that I’m loved from the top of my head to the tips of my toes….I’m tired of trying to be more and sacrificing the things that should never be sacrificed in order to achieve or find what I feel I’m missing when I already had it and saw it differently in other peoples lives, the competing and comparing. Keep writing…love your heart for Him!

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