This is a sermon that has been stewing around in me for a while.
I hear so many people moan and complain and whine and carry on about what they don't have and what they wish they had and how all they need is a little of this and a little of that and what all they could have IF ONLY someone else or something else would help them or get out of their way....
In the book of John, fifth chapter, we meet a man who has been lying on his mat for THIRTY-EIGHT years.
When we are introduced to him, the man is in the vicinity of the healing pool.
1. Yep - what he needs is in the neighborhood.
Jesus asks him, "Do you want to get well?"
2. Hint - Hint - Significant Question: "Do you WANT to get well?"
Guess what? The man does NOT say "Yes!". The man who has been on his mat for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS starts whining - yes, whining. He whimpers that there has been no one to help him pick up his mat and get into the pool of water.
3. Sound familiar? Someone else should be helping him.
He then states that no one will help him get into the pool when the "water is stirred".
4. Imagine that - he thinks he has to continue reclining, waiting for just the right moment to try to change his situation.
Further, Mat Boy complains that every time he tries to get into the water, someone or something gets in his way.
5. Help him, Jesus - It just wasn't his fault...
Jesus said to him,
"GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK."
Jesus didn't say, "Here, let me help you up." He also didn't say, "Let me help you with that nasty mat you've been wallowing on for thirty-eight years." He also didn't say, "Let me stand here and listen to your list of excuses. And, oh yeah, Jesus did not say, "You can leave that filthy mat for someone else to pick up and clean up."
He said: "GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK."
I wasn't there, but I love to think that Jesus lost it and yelled "GET UP!" to the top of his lungs.
How badly do you want your situation to be changed? Do you really want it to change? If yes, maybe you need to get up and do something. If no, keep lying on your mat. Maybe someone will bring you a cool one. But I hope someone who loves you dearly will scream at you, "GET UP!"
Take a step on your own and watch what happens.
P.S. If I had a church, I would do sermons like this - short and sweet and straight to the gut - and you could eat your Sunday fried chicken with something to think about. Just sayin'...