“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked Him, which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:28-30)
Is your heart divided?
Your whole heart. It’s a simple statement. It’s not a simple task. Unfortunately, there are times we find our heart is divided and we have not fully given ourselves to God. How about you? Do you love the Lord with all of your heart? Your whole heart? Don’t answer too fast. Take inventory of your life. How much time did you give to God last week, and how much time did you give to this world? There comes a time when we as Christians must decide, “If God is in my life, I belong to Him. I’ve got to give myself completely to Him.” The tricky part is that sometimes there are less obvious reasons as to why we are divided.
Broken from the inside out
In John chapter 5, we take a deeper look into issues that can divide our hearts. We are presented with a story of a lame man. He was brought to the pool of Bethesda, one of the places that they would bring sick, or lame people at that time. We are told they brought them there because during a certain season an angel would trouble or stir up the waters. When this happened, the first one to get in would be healed of their infirmity. This man had been brought to this place for 38 years. Yet there was no change to his condition.
I have no doubt that during all that time, his physical problem was no longer the only issue with which he was suffering. We must consider, that after 38 years this condition must have been weighing on his mind. We can imagine it had probably broken his spirit more than once. He probably had hope from time to time, only to get disappointed, and downhearted because he didn’t get in the pool to get healed. However, on this day the Scripture told us it was going to be different. Jesus was on the scene. Jesus asked him a question that has been retold for centuries now. However, without examining this passage in the original language, so much is overlooked.
The right approach can be crucial
Jesus approached this man and asked him a very direct question. “Will you be made whole?” In the original language, it would be more accurately rendered for us to understand, “Are you serious about getting well? Completely well?” As in, not just his body, but his mind and spirit also.
Sometimes we forget that when people go through difficult things, and especially when it is over a longer period of time, they not only get hurt, but they can get completely broken. Sometimes it seems as though they are broken beyond repair. We often just lay them to the side, and walk on by (Acts 3). That is not a Christian’s expected course of action. Yet, we find it does happen and probably happens on a daily basis, if we are being honest. Let’s consider one more passage…
Don’t just walk on by!
“Jesus replied, ‘A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way robbers stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead. By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went around him and continued on his way. Then a Levite came to that place. When he saw the man, he, too, went around him and continued on his way. But a Samaritan, as he was traveling along, came across the man. When the Samaritan saw him, he felt sorry for the man, went to him and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day the Samaritan took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper, Take care of him. If you spend more than that, I’ll pay you on my return trip. Of these three men, who do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers?’ The expert said, ‘The one who was kind enough to help him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do the same!'” (Luke 10:30-37)
If we dive into the meaning of this passage, we find God is trying to show us so much more. He is trying to get us to examine the true issues that everyone has in their lives. God wants us to realize that every person has deep-seated issues that we must examine. If we are truly going to reach out to help those in need, we need to take our steps carefully and slowly. When approaching someone that is hurt, we must realize that what we see is probably only the tip of the iceberg, as they say. We must consider that healing may not happen overnight. The healing process might take a month, or two, or even more. However, we must be willing to stick it out if we are serious about helping others be made whole, and conquer what is dividing their hearts.
How many people do you know in your life, that have suffered with certain health conditions for months or maybe even years? When we consider what Jesus stated, that we are to, “Love the Lord with all of our heart mind and strength,” we must realize that there may be a process involved. A healing must first happen before we can love God with that wholeness He has called us to. Whatever the situation, don’t be someone that just walks by. Be someone who takes the time to get them through, and on their way with God.
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