Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

John 5:1-14

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 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. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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?” “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.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 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.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 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.”

Message Notes

1. Use a wide angle lens.

When you’re focus is narrow we miss things. We tend to only focus on the pain and not the purpose.

2. What’s behind the scenes?

Jesus walked into town and the man was still focused on getting into the water.

God is constantly working behind the scenes for our good.

3. Point the light in the right direction.

When things are difficult, we only illuminate the problem.

Faith moves the light before anything happens.

4. You have to make the move.

You can lay there and focus on what was or move your focus to what God is doing and get up.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it so difficult to see the big picture?
  2. What would change if you really believed God was working behind the scenes for your benefit?
  3. What are the things that you tend to shine the light on in your life?
  4. Why is it hard to move your focus before anything has happened?
  5. Why does God leave us to pick up the mat?
  6. Why is it so important to get our focus right if we are going to move forward with the Gospel?