Today we are going to continue to look at Matthew 7. This is the closing of the sermon on the mount. It’s sort of the application part of the sermon. Last time we looked at how self righteousness gets in the way of helping others. Today I want to look at the next section dealing with asking God for things.
Here is what Jesus says
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
The first paragraph fits into an interesting category of scripture abuse. This is the sort of thing that is often used to justify what is often called the prosperity gospel. The idea that whatever you want, if you just ask God, then He will give it to you.
This is the third part of a study looking at the story of Jesus and the healing of Bartimaeus the blind man in Mark 10.
Jesus has entered the town of Jericho and the crowd has gathered. Bartimaeus a blind man and beggar is on the side of the road and hears that Jesus is going by. He cries out to Jesus. The crowd tells him to be quiet and stay out of the way. But Jesus stops and tells the crowd to bring him forward. They go and get him and Bartimaeus leaps at the chance and goes to Jesus. Jesus asks him what he wants and when he says he wants to see, knowing that Jesus can give him his sight, Jesus heals him. Bartimaeus is healed and follows Jesus along the road praising God.
In part one we looked at what this story tells us about Jesus. In part two we looked at what the fact that Jesus loves everyone has to do with us. Today I want to go a different direction.
Today we are diving into part two in a series on a story in John 5
Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate. It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed. Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there. One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.
Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?” Last time we looked at some probable reason why Jesus asks this question. Today I want to look at this man’s response, and ours, to that question.
The man says this, “Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when it is stirred up. I start to go there but because of my condition someone gets there before me.”
Here is what is interesting about this answer. This man has a plan to get well. He is counting on this plan. He might need a little help to get there but he doesn’t need a new or different plan. His plan is the only one that can work. He’s had 38 years to think about this obviously. It’s not his first rodeo and I’m sure it’s not his first plan.