19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. –John 5:19 NLT
Jesus used the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda to get the attention of the people, especially the religious leaders, He wanted them to understand who He was and why He was there. But, like most of us, when we first encounter Jesus, the religious leaders looked for reasons not to accept the truth of who Jesus is. We find fault with how and why Jesus does the things He chooses to do. Here is a human being, who claims to be the Son of God. He is making these preposterous claims that He can heal, raise from the dead, and even forgive sins. In their eyes, this is blasphemy. What do we see, when we look at Jesus and His claims? Do we see the love of God and His great mercy or do we see what the religious leaders saw? If we are totally honest in our search for truth, we will be drawn to this man Jesus and His love for us. He will not force you to accept Him, but He is standing at your heart’s door asking you to invite Him into your heart and life. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment and ask Him in now.
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
– Rev. 3:20 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
6 However, some people enter that place of rest. Those who heard the Good News in the past did not enter God’s place of rest because they did not obey God. 7 So God set another day. That day is today. Many years after your ancestors failed to enter that place of rest God spoke about it through David in the passage already quoted: “If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn.” 8 If Joshua had given the people rest, God would not have spoken about another day. 9 Therefore, a time of rest and worship exists for God’s people. 10 Those who entered his place of rest also rested from their work as God did from his. 11 So we must make every effort to enter that place of rest. Then no one will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey.–Hebrews 4:6-11 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the way.
When I read this passage in Hebrews, I am reminded of what Jesus promised us if we would listen and obey Him.
28 “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.29 Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves 30 because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”–Matthew 11:28-30 (GW)
If we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He will help us carry our burdens and we find that those things we once considered heavy and burdensome are not a load at all. What Jesus wants us to learn from Him is that He wants to fight our battles for us. If we allow Him to do that, then we will find the peace He promised us and we can have a little, tiny bit of heaven right here on earth. The place of rest is abiding in Jesus Christ. Abide with Him, dine with Him, worship Him, praise Him and rejoice with Him in the victories!
1 Now, since God has left us the promise that we may enter his rest, let us be very careful so none of you will fail to enter. 2 The Good News was preached to us just as it was to them. But the teaching they heard did not help them, because they heard it but did not accept it with faith. 3 We who have believed are able to enter and have God’s rest. As God has said,
God is waiting to show you the way.
“I was angry and made a promise,
‘They will never enter my rest.’” Psalm 95:11
But God’s work was finished from the time he made the world. 4 In the Scriptures he talked about the seventh day of the week: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the Scripture God said, “They will never enter my rest.”–Hebrews 4:1-5 (NCV)
In Exodus, when God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, His plan was that they would enter into a land of milk and honey. They would eat crops they had not planted, drink water from wells they did not dig, and live in houses they did not build. In other words, God had prepared a place of rest for them. Because they were stubborn and refused to believe that God could and would deliver them, they disobeyed again and again. God became angry at their disobedience and refused to allow any of that generation to enter into the land of Canaan except for Joshua and Caleb. These two men had shown faith in God when all others refused to believe, thus they were allowed to enter into the land of rest. God’s plan was for man to work six days and then rest, just as He set the example in His acts of creation. His plan is for us to enter a period of rest when we leave this earth and then to reign with Him forever. But for us to enter that land of rest, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Just as God showed grace to those in the Old Testament who believed, He shows us grace through faith. The difference being that He was the perfect sacrifice forever and there is now no need for another sacrifice of any sort. As believers, our place in the land of rest is assured by the blood of Jesus.