Walking in the Light

John 12:35-37 WEB

Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going. [36] While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. [37] But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him,


What does it mean to walk in the light? It means a person who believes in Jesus and walks according to his teachings. The deeds of the light are mercy, justice, and humility (Micah 6:8). That is what walking in the light meant 2000 years ago and it still means the same thing today. Believers today must still walk in the light. When a person is walking in the light, they are obedient to the Bible. People walking in the light are convinced that all sin is darkness.

There are several sin lists in the New Testament. Romans 1:29-30 is one of those lists. Some of the things on this list might be a surprise. For example, gossip is grouped with murder. Also, from the same verses boasting and arrogance are also compared to murder. When we walk in these sins and have no urgent desire to stop sinning, we are walking in the dark. When we walk in the light, our sin is a great burden. When we walk in the dark it sounds foolish to repent of sin and walk in the light (Cor 1:18).

An urgent desire to stop sinning is apparent in the life of a person walking in the light. The deeds of walking in the light are different than the deeds of darkness. In the light people visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). They guard their hearts and mouths turning away from evil speaking and evil deeds (John 17:15). People in the light are healed and delivered from sin (Romans 12:2). And righteousness is their heart’s desire (John 2:29).


Lord, give me the grace to recognize and turn away from sin. Please help me read the Bible and give me an understanding of the Bible. I long to walk in your commandments, Lord. Please help me to embrace righteousness and walk in the light.

Righteous Judgments

John 7:21-24 WEB

Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel because of it. [22] Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy. [23] If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath? [24] Don’t judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”


I have always wondered how to define “righteous judgment.” Then, when I read the above verses, I realized, the Bible is full of Christ’s judgments. If there is anyone who gives righteous judgments it’s Jesus. Most people are familiar with the Lord’s judgments against religious leaders. However, the Lord made all sorts of righteous judgments. Three that caught my attention include the demoniac of Gadarenes, the woman who receives scraps under the table, and the believing centurion.

Luke 8:27-39 is the story of the demoniac of Gadarenes. The main judgment in this cautionary tale is against the people of Gadarenes. After silencing the demons in the man and finding out their name, Jesus sends the spirits into a herd of pigs and the pigs die. When the people of Gadarenes learn of the financial loss, they ask Jesus to leave.

There is a bit of misdirection at play here by the author of the book of Luke. While the reader is focused on the demoniac, Jesus judges the townspeople. The people of Gadarenes do not express a word of praise that a man’s life was saved. Nor do they express a word of remorse for raising pigs, something no believing Jewish person would do. Instead, they focus on the financial loss. Moreover, the townspeople do not seem to recognize they are being judged. The righteous judgment is, one single human being has more value than money. Even when that money is the lively hood of an entire town of God’s people.

Next, I have always liked the story of the woman who received scraps under the table. In Mark 7:24-30 we learn the woman is Greek and has a daughter who is demonized. The woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter and he deflects her request calling her a dog. However, instead of getting upset or discouraged, the woman presses into the hope of God’s goodness and humbles herself before the Lord. He says she has great faith and heals her daughter.

This is another interesting use of distraction. While everyone is focused on Jesus calling the woman a dog, he judges his disciples for their prejudice. The Lord reveals the prejudice of the disciples when he grants the woman’s request. At the same time, he judges their arrogance for believing Jewish people are better than all others. The righteous judgment of the Lord in this story is all believing people can receive from God, even those others call unworthy.

Finally, Matthew 8:5-16 is the story of the Centurion’s faith. As Jesus enters Capernaum, he is approached by a Roman Centurion. The man asks Jesus to heal his paralyzed and tormented servant. When Jesus agrees to come, the Centurion says if he will only say a word, it will be enough. He goes on to explain his understanding of authority and expresses great faith at the same time.

Interestingly, this judgment explores the faith of the disciples compared to the faith of a Roman Soldier. The soldier is judged faithful, and his servant is healed. Meanwhile, Peter’s mother is sick. Instead of asking the Lord to say a word of authority for her healing, the disciples wait until Jesus can touch her. Peter’s mother does not get healed until Christ arrives. Finally, Jesus goes on to deliver and heal all who are sick or demonized.

The judgments in this tale compare the faith of the disciples to that of a believing Roman. They also compare the compassion of Christ against the compassion of the disciples. The judgment here is that the disciples are found less faithful than one they consider to be an enemy and God responds with goodness to all who come in faith.  

What ties all these judgments together? God’s love. Jesus loves all people, and he calls judgments righteous that recognize the worth and acceptance of all believers. Rebuking prejudice, faithlessness, and hardness of heart, Jesus uses righteous judgments to adjust the disciples’ thinking. More, Jesus does not call out the shame of his disciples directly. Instead, he protects them while he heals their hearts and corrects their thinking. Lastly, these judgments are all indirect which probably means those with unbelieving hearts would miss the true meaning.


Lord Jesus, please teach me to judge righteously. Forgive me for past unrighteous judgments and reveal to me how you would judge the circumstances and situations of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Exchange

John 5:9-11 WEB

Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. [10] So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” [11] He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’ ”


A man with an infirmity for 38 years was miraculously healed and all the religious leaders could do was criticize. The leaders of Judaism, in their pursuit of obedience to God, had made up hundreds of rules for practical daily living. Now, with God working in their midst they could not see Him. Instead, all they could see was Jesus inciting rule-breaking.

It is probably difficult to overestimate how often we substitute the teachings of man for the teachings of God. Jesus had healed a man and the Jewish leaders did not approve. The rules they created to be zealous for God had become an idol. The rules are an idol because the religious leaders had become more loyal to the rules than to God.

How did the leaders of Judaism fall into idolatry? They forgot the lesson of Moses striking the rock when God told him to speak to it. (Num 20:7-12) They forgot that God does not do everything the same every time. The religious leaders also forgot the lesson of the Israelites at the Mountain of God. They did not want to talk to God, instead, they preferred a book of rules to follow. They rejected knowing God personally. (Exodus 20:19) In the same way, the religious leaders of Jesus’ time had created rules that eliminated the need to trust God directly. They substituted teachings about God for God.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize idolatry in my life so that I may repent. Lord, please help me care more about our relationship than I care about people’s approval. Please help me, love, without compromise. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Fruit and Authority

John 5:9-17 WEB

Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. [10] So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” [11] He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’ ” [12] Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?” [13] But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. [14] Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” [15] The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. [16] For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. [17] But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”


The works of Jesus are good fruit. As Christians, we are often told that we should evaluate the fruit of a person’s life. In the above passage, Jesus has just healed, delivered, and restored a man. Jesus’ works bore good fruit. It is understandable that the healed man felt gratitude and loyalty to Jesus. Still, the man was under Jewish law.

The healed man had honor for the authority of the religious leaders. So, in accordance with the law, he went to the leaders to be declared healed. Here is where something interesting happens, the man who was healed followed the fruit. That is, he judged the fruit and showed loyalty to Jesus. Also, just a few lines later the man is telling the Jewish leaders what they want to know. The man did not dishonor the legitimate authority of the religious leaders.

Jesus was a man under authority. He watched and prayed and did what the Father showed him. When the Father showed him healing on the Sabbath, he obeyed. It did not matter doing a healing on the Sabbath was the best way to get into trouble with the religious leaders. Accordingly, it was not long until Jesus was challenged by religious hypocrisy.

The Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus for working on the Sabbath. Jesus answers them boldly when he says he is under the authority of the Father. In the same way believers are to name Jesus, Jesus named the Father. He truly did suffer as we do today. He faced challenges on behalf of the Father to serve His glory. He trusted the Father enough to obey him. He trusted the Father enough to bear good fruit.


Lord Jesus, please help me trust you enough to obey your word. Help me see what you are doing so that I may join in the work. Please forgive my love for the approval of others. Help me trust, obey, and bear good fruit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Healed or Restored?

John 5:4-9 WEB

for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. [5] A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” [7] The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.” [8] Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.” [9] Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.


Being healed and being restored are two different things. A doctor can heal but they cannot restore. A boss at work or family leader may be able to restore but they cannot heal. In the above text, Jesus healed the man and restored him. Jesus’ admonition to take up his mat and walk deals with the man’s need to be both healed and restored.

When Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed, the man answers indirectly and says, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool…” Jesus asked a question about the man’s situation and the man immediately blames those around him. So, this is the first thing Jesus deals with in this newly healed man when he says, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.”

Notice the Lord did not tell someone to help the man to the water. Nor did he reprimand those around for not caring about the man. No one questioned anyone’s motives. Jesus simply challenges the man to walk in the Spirit. He challenges the man to do the impossible, get up.

So, the man got up. He did not wait to be asked again. He did not wait for a full explanation of how he was supposed to get up. The man waiting for 38 years by the pool quickly took ahold of the opportunity the Lord gave him, and he got up and walked.

The opportunity to be healed came with a specific challenge. The man had to pick up his bedroll on the sabbath to obey the Lord. This was direct disobedience to the fathers of the Jewish faith who said a person cannot carry their bed on the sabbath. Yet, obeying the fathers did not get the man healed.

For 38 years the man’s life was bankrupted by his illness. Yet in one simple conversation, Jesus heals him, challenges his faith, restores him, and gives him the opportunity to publicly name Jesus when asked why he is carrying his bedroll. When Jesus heals, he does a complete work. When we try to get people healed without the Spirit of God, the magnitudes of goodness are not there.  On the other hand, the goodness of Jesus’ intervention seeps into all the areas and lives connected to the person being healed.


Lord Jesus, please increase my belief in your willingness to heal. Help me say yes when you ask me hard questions. Help me desire your wholeness more than I desire the world’s acceptance. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.  

Willing to be Healed

John 5:4-6 WEB

for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. [5] A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”


What a great question, “Do you want to be made well?” Sin is described in the word as something of which to be healed. There are also healings from diseases and mental disorders. There is healing from demonization and trauma effects. Yet, a major issue to entering healing in all these areas is a desire to be made well.

Not everyone who seeks healing wants to be healed. Many want the hardships of their need removed while keeping the advantages of sin or disease. Of course, healing is a lifelong journey. We are not going to magically arrive at a state of God-like perfection. We are going to suffer the trials and tribulations of life, in some measure, as long as we live.

As long as we are on this earth, we will need help from God. We need so much more help than the few things listed here. One thing that comes to mind is relationships. Most would agree that if we are alive, we will need God’s grace to help us with relationships. So, there is a sort of healing that is needed there.

Relational healing because we are always going to need to be less self-focused and more altruistic in our relationships. Our patience will probably be challenged all our lives.  We all need to grow in our stature, another lifelong pursuit. Stature comprises character, relational acumen, and integrity. It is one’s ability to stand under pressure while maintaining favor with others. And it will continue becoming more pronounced throughout our lives.

But the question still remains, do you want to be made whole? Or do you want to remain in sin? Do you prefer the wages of sin over the wages of righteousness? Do you like all the attention and care a physical need may bring? Or what about taking shortcuts in relationships?

Our sin issues are not the thing that matters. Our willingness to be healed and delivered from everything does matter. We are all going to encounter sin and disease, but if we want to be healed, we can be. What matters is that we can be healed if we are willing.


Lord Jesus, please heal me of sin and disease, in all their many forms. I trust you and believe your grace is sufficient for me. I trust you and say yes to you Jesus, I do want to be healed. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

When God Moves

John 5:1-4 WEB

After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [2] Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda”, having five porches. [3] In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; [4] for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.


It is interesting that the sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed were the most keenly interested in the move of God. They came to the place where God was working and waited for Him to move the waters. Then, whoever was courageous enough and quick enough could step into the water and be healed.

As I read this it makes me think of the many revivals of the past 200 years. Almost always there are signs and wonders at the beginning. However, once the teachings the revival is focused on are incorporated into the church, the healings and miracles subside.  

Even the healing movement of the 20th century has seen the number of certifiable healings subside. However, the teaching about healing remains and now is incorporated into several denominations. While men and women with the faith and anointing to lay hands on the sick still exist, the general theme of the healing movement now is personal acceptance of the reality of healing. This is an acceptance of our personal responsibility to accept the truth that healing has already been purchased on the cross so each believer should trust God to heal them.

When healing first began in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, it was odd to the greater world of Christianity. God openly validated the teaching with signs and wonders. Unfortunately, miraculous and instant healings are largely gone. Yet healing as a daily lifestyle now is normalized across several denominations.

You can see in this example that when God began to move in healing, those who were quick and willing to be laughed at jumped into the teaching, and many received organic, miraculous healings. As the above verses, it was the sick and hurting that ran to the teaching of healing.


Lord Jesus, please help me watch as I go about my life. Help me watch so that I can see when you are doing something new. Give me the spiritual insight to recognize your work on the earth. Lord, please give me the courage and the right motives so that I can step in when you bring a new thing. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.