GOD SPECIALIZES IN LOST CAUSES Andy Hollifield 8-20-17
1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Jesus)
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;
As I was out on Saturday running an errand, I somehow got this thought on my mind: God specializes in lost causes. Actually, what I started thinking to begin with, was how that everywhere you found Jesus in public, he was either around a bunch of sick and needy folks or had a crowd of them following him. If the truth be known, those who need Christ the most are the very ones that we as Christians try to avoid contact with. Let’s be honest; when was the last time you heard of someone having a visitation to go after folks that had nothing to offer to the church? Something to think about isn’t it? That was the type of people who Jesus tended to spend most of his time around and notice the most. For example; who did he notice in the temple giving their money into the treasury, the rich people or the woman with only 2 mites? Another example is the man who laid 38 years at the pool of Bethesda in the Hebrew tongue which means having 5 porches. Do you remember what the number 5 represents in the bible; grace. Truly this man was about to receive God’s grace beyond his wildest dreams.
John chapter 5 gives us this story and I noticed just a few things when reading it. Keep in mind that we are talking about lost causes. Verses 3 and 4 tell us that in these porches lay a bunch of “impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” It was widely known that at a certain season an angel went down into the pool and troubled the water. Whoever got in first was cured of whatever their problem was. To reiterate what I said earlier about the company Jesus kept; have you ever wondered what he was doing going on to these porches if the sick and needy wasn’t who he was interested in? Verse 6 talks about Jesus knew he had been there a long time. Verse 5 mentioned he had been there lame for thirty-eight years. Have you ever thought about the fact that this man had been laying there since before Jesus was born? Look also at where this pool was. It was beside the sheep market. That in our day would be like living next door to the stockyard. The noise and the smell would have made that a miserable place to be. My guess is that anyone that might have been near that pool would see hopelessness like they had never known was possible. One time, “at a certain season” is all that we know that the water was troubled. Only one person, the fastest one, was all that got healed. Can you imagine the rest of them? Laying there all that time, possibly day and night, trying to stay awake so they wouldn’t miss the angel. And if they were too slow, or dozed off, or just not paying attention, their chance was gone until the next time. Can you imagine the desperation they all must have felt each time they tried and failed? I would imagine that every time he came, this man probably tried to lay as close as he could to the edge of the pool so he could just roll in. Time after time he would try and time after time he was just a little bit too slow. If that isn’t a picture of hopelessness and desperation I don’t know what is. Then came Jesus. He had no good reason to be there other than this man who most people probably figured would die in his condition. Most had given up because, like he told Jesus, there was no one to help him. Others may have had help but he didn’t…..until now. I have often wondered just how many people Jesus must have walked past to get to this man. Everyone was there because they had a specific need. They were all waiting for an angel but this man got a visit from someone far better than an angel. Jesus didn’t chit-chat with him, he just asked him; “wilt thou be made whole?” That man did like we do a lot of times when God asks us something or gives us something to do. He began to explain to Jesus why it wasn’t possible for him. Not excuses but all valid reasons. Jesus hadn’t asked him why he hadn’t been made whole but only if he wanted to be. Jesus gave him three commands, not suggestions or good ideas but commands; “rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” “And immediately;” I like how the Lord does things. He didn’t heal him on the installment plan but did just like when he saved Peter from drowning; “immediately.”
I wonder what this man’s family thought when he came walking through the door carrying his bed. Can you imagine that moment? I don’t know if he had a wife and kids or how he had gotten in that condition to begin with or if he even had a home. Did you notice that it apparently didn’t matter to Jesus? He never asked him any of those questions. Of course, him being God, he already knew the answers, but that is beside the point. The point is that none of that mattered but only whether or not he wanted to be made whole. Just like is often the case when God does a miracle for someone, there will be those that find fault with it. As usual, it was that religious crowd who don’t know anything about the working of the Holy Ghost but only about their list of do’s and don’ts. I liked the mans answer when they told him he was breaking the law by carrying his bed on the sabbath. He told them; the one that healed me told me to. That was good enough for him. Someone had come by the pool that day and did for him what the law never could and he didn’t even know who it was. I like what he did shortly after that. The next place he was found was in the temple. Jesus found him there and told him who he was and warned him not to sin or something worse would come on him.
Now, with all of that in mind, how lost was your cause? What kind of shape were you in when Jesus came to where you were? You were just as hopeless as this man and unable to do anything to help yourself. But …”the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” didn’t pass by your way but rather came to where you was. Passed by everyone else to get to you. He didn’t ask anything about where you had been or what you had done but only if you would be made whole. He didn’t ask anybody what they thought about it because he couldn’t care less what anybody thought about it. He came to you because you were a lost cause. But now because of him, if you have been made whole and forgiven of your sins by the blood he shed on Calvary, you are a sinner saved by grace. Like I said; God specializes in lost causes. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!