Pause and slowly pray this prayer as you enter into the presence of God and read his word.
Jesus, today, I want to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly. Show yourself to me. Help me. Amen.
Slowly read through the passage below, pausing to see Jesus and interact with him in prayer through the Scripture. Then answer the following questions as an invitation to walk more nearly with Jesus today.
How do you see Jesus in this passage?
What do you love about Jesus today?
What is one thing you can do today to follow Jesus more nearly?
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Jesus, I imagine myself next to that pool with you. I am needy and hear you ask: “Do you want to get well?” I pause to give an honest answer and consider my excuses (pause, share your common excuses with Jesus). Give me courage to receive your healing touch on my life. Give me courage to hear you say, “Get up! Walk.” Give me courage to change. I need you. I love you. Amen.
We believe life with God is best done together. Use this Scripture and questions with others:
• With a friend, you can call or video chat.
• With your Life Group (even as you meet virtually).
• Around the table with roommates, spouses and kids.
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