The Miracles of Jesus – Part 3

John 5 4

Hey Tribelet! Asher here. How are your summer vacations going? I guess yours have started already – I’ve still got a few more days of school to go. School can be a pain sometimes, but it definitely doesn’t compare to today’s miracle…

…Imagine being paralyzed for thirty eight years.

That’s pretty hard, right? I certainly can’t imagine that – I think it’s safe to say 38 years is over 3 times greater than your ages!

Unfortunately, that was reality for the man in John 5.

3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?”

7 “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.”

John 5.a

He was “invalid”, surrounded by fellow “invalids” who had been rejected from society by no fault of their own.

He couldn’t move, not even a couple of inches to the pool, his only hope of healing.

This man was completely helpless.

Thankfully, Jesus sees him and his struggle. There must have been hundreds of disabled people by the pool, but He knew exactly what this particular “invalid” was going through.

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Physically, it’s remarkable that Jesus was able to heal this man. But what strikes me even more is the way he did so. He didn’t do everything for the “invalid” – no, Jesus gave him a choice.

He asked: do you want healing?

Okay. This is how you heal, and I will give you the power to do it.

Now that you’re healed, start a new life.

This is an interesting insight to how Jesus healing works – it’s a two way street. Praying “please help me ace this test” and doing nothing else about it doesn’t quite cut it. God will help us, but we need to be determined to improve, trusting to follow His instructions and willing to live differently.

John 5 2

So, for this example, if you were willing to put effort into the test, listening to God by not cheating in it and being committed to studying hard next time, results may look a little different.

Now you might think, well, I’m not blind or lame or paralyzed. I don’t need healing. But the truth is, we are all as helpless as the “invalid” man in other ways. By ourselves, us humans are weak. We have physical, emotional and intellectual limits. We set out to finish that project, go over and talk to the new girl, run that half marathon – and end up failing to do so because we’re not strong enough to do it alone.

We need Jesus to perform mini-miracles for us every day, whether that’s giving us the strength to swim the final lap, or not give in and stand up for something you believe in.

So Jesus performed a miracle for the man, and he was well and walking again. Was all well?

Not quite.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 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.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 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.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

John 5 1

The man faced difficulties immediately after being healed – he was opposed by the Jewish leaders, who were very picky about religious traditions. Since the Bible says to rest on the Sabbath (Sunday), they thought Jesus was violating the commandment by doing work and healing the man.

There are several things to unpack here…

Firstly, Jesus’ open-minded character stands out here. Unlike the Jewish leaders, he wasn’t too caught up in the details and ‘rules’ of religion, because He understood that faith was more about having a heart focused on loving God and others. He wasn’t just going to pass a hurting man by because it was Sunday. He had compassion for the man, and knew that healing him was best thing to do.

John 5 5

Secondly, the man acknowledged Jesus. He followed His instructions to pick up his mat, even though it was against the preferences of the Jewish leaders, and even told them about Jesus. He recognized that Jesus knew what was best for him, and that without Him, he would still be helpless.

And finally, not all was happily ever after. Yes, the man was healed – that’s awesome! But his difficulties didn’t end there. He was immediately questioned by society. Unfortunately, that’s reality – there are always going to be hardships. Relying on God is not a one-off thing.

We’ll always need Him.

So let’s continue our journey acknowledging our weaknesses. Following what God guides us to do, even if we’re not sure about it. And learning each time we make progress, changing the way walk.

John 5 3

In the comments, feel free to let us know what stuck out to you in today’s miracle. (You can read more about it in John 5:1-23). What did you find most interesting?
I’d also love to know what situations you feel helpless in. Do you rely on God in these situations, and how could He help you to improve?

Personally, I feel helpless when I try to support friends who are struggling and it doesn’t seem like their situation is improving. I could definitely rely on God more by praying about this. I hope He can help me improve by making me a wiser and more uplifting friend!

Until next time,

Take care.

Asher

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The Miracles of Jesus-Part 2

Good morning Mini-Women!!!! How are you? Here in Tennessee it feels like summer! I just spent a week with one of my dearest friends and I feel so refreshed.

This month, we are talking about the miracles of Jesus. Which is one of my favorite things to talk about. Ever. Anytime I get bogged down by life or confused about what I believe-I go back to the person of Jesus. And the stories about Him. Because He is the example of how we are called to live.

You can find those stories in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Sometimes you will hear them called “The Gospels”.

Gospel means Good News and that is what each book is about. The Good News that Jesus came so that we can be restored back into relationship with God-our Creator.

Each book (or Gospel) tells about Jesus’ life from a different perspective. That is because they were written by four different people.

One of my favorite miracles is told in the Book of Mark which starts off like this.

“This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1

Mark 2:1-12

1When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door.

Ok. Can we just take a second and read that again. People heard Jesus was in town and they packed out the house to hear what He had to say. In fact, in the passage right before this story it said that He coulndn’t go anywhere without huge crowds following Him.

Why?

Jesus was unlike anyone they had ever known.

They were amazed at how to taught.

He set people free from tormenting spirits.

He healed sick people. Not just coughs but nasty diseases.

Over and over again, it says that people were amazed by the authority with which He spoke.

Have you ever been around someone who made you feel safe just by the way they carried themselves? Who knew how to take charge of scary situations? Who, with just a word, made you know that everything was going to be ok?

That’s what Jesus did. And people were attracted to that. And they wanted to see Him for themselves.

While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.

Crazy right?

THEY DUG A HOLE IN THE ROOF ABOVE HIS HEAD!!!

Let’s just take a second and break that down.

Some guys had a friend who was paralyzed. He couldn’t walk. They had obviously heard about Jesus and that He could heal people. And they wanted their friend to be healed. So much so, that when they realized they couldn’t go through the front door (like normal people), they were like….let’s cut a hole in the roof and lower him down. That’s crazy but that’s some crazy faith. They had faith that if they could just get him to Jesus feet-he would be healed.

By the way…What do you think the owners of the house thought when they realized what was happening???? My mom would have lost her mind.

How about the crowd? When sawdust or dirt started sprinkling down on them as they men were sawing(?) through the ceiling? Did they start poking each other and pointing up? And when they realized a man was being lowered through…on a mat? Did the people duck and cover? It’s crazy!

5Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

I think that sentence is interesting for two reasons.

  1. It was their faith (the friends) that compelled Jesus to forgive the man.
  2. At this point, he didn’t heal the man. He forgave his sins.

What do you think the friends were thinking now?

6But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7“What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus ticked people off all the time, especially religious people. Remember how people were amazed at what he taught and they authority by which he spoke? Well, that’s because He was God’s Son. He knows God’s heart and understands God’s love for us better than anyone. And as God’s Son He has the authority to forgive sin (not giving God rightful place in our lives). And that made the religious people really angry. Because they didn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They just thought he was a teacher. Maybe even a rebel, sent to cause problems. Which made them very nervous. Because what he said contradicted so much of what they taught.

8Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking,

That’s because He was the Son of God

so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10So I will prove to you that the Son of Mana has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

I love this. I love Jesus. He knew what the religious leaders were thinking so he said, “Ok. What is easier? To forgive sin or heal someone who cannot walk? Fine. I’ll do both to prove to you (and everyone gathered) that I AM the Son of God. The Creator of the Universe? He’s my dad. He sent me to set people free from sin. And to heal them in both body and soul.

12And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

Can you even imagine???

You bet the crowd went wild.

And you know who probably shouted the loudest? His friends.

I love this miracle for so many reasons.

I love that it reveals Jesus heart. His character. His nature.

He didn’t get mad the they men interrupted his talk. He wasn’t annoyed. If anything he was impressed by the man’s friends because they had great faith. The bible says in Hebrews that faith pleases God. And that He rewards out faith. And in this moment, Jesus rewarded the friends faith by healing their friend.

Another reason I love this miracle is because it paints such an amazing picture of friendship.

Do you have any friends in your life that need healing? Maybe not physically but they are hurting in their hearts? The choices they are making? Because of things that have happened to them?

One of the greatest gifts you can give them is to bring them to the feet of Jesus through prayer.

In your talking to God journal, write out a prayer for a friend that is hurting. And ask God to heal them, just like these men did.

In the comments section, I wanna know which part of this story jumps out at you and why. Or do you have a favorite miracle of Jesus? Tell us which one and why. Remember that we don’t share names on this website so please don’t talk about any friends that need prayer. That’s between you and God.

Love, Love, Love,

Leslie

The Miracles of Jesus-Part 1

Hi girls! My first post coming back from baby time- woohoo! I’ve missed you ladies.

We have a shorter series this month – the Miracles of Jesus. Honestly, this is a topic we could revisit at some point because there are SO many to choose from! For today, I’m starting out with His first miracle – turning water into wine at a wedding.

This story has all sorts of fun details to pull out and discuss, but just to make sure we’re all familiar with the story, I’m going to put the Scripture right here and you girls go grab your Bibles if you need to refresh your memory!

John 2, verses 1 to 12.

So first of all, I want to make sure you girls know a Jewish culture detail because it really helps the story. I know wine can be served at weddings right now in 2018 but in Biblical times it was a BIG deal. Having enough wine at a wedding meant the bride and groom had enough money to host a nice party, it meant they had been careful planners of every detail and it meant they had saved up enough money and been wise about what they spent it on.

So to run out of wine was… just embarrassing! I guess it would be like you coming to a wedding today and the bride and groom saying, “Oh sorry we didn’t get a table for you to eat on. Can you balance a paper plate on your lap out on the lawn while the rest of us eat on glass plates in the reception hall?”

AWKWARD.

So when Mary saw that her good friends were about to get really embarrassed and have to send everyone home, she rushed to Jesus for help! Of course no one else knew about Jesus but Mary did. She knew He was more than capable of doing ANY miracle.

There was no local wine store in Cana though. Mary went to Jesus because she knew He could help in the most miraculous way possible.

But what does Jesus say?

“It’s not my time.”

And Mary, being a mama who knows best, just turns to the servants and tells them to listen to whatever Jesus says.

That’s my favorite part.

I mean, this is JESUS. He’s God! Wouldn’t He know when He should start performing miracles?

And maybe He did know. Maybe He had plans to start next week.

But instead, the Savior and Lord of the world listened to His mother and performed a miracle anyway. He knew that Mary had been chosen by God the Father to be His earthly mother and that He could trust her wisdom. If she believed it was time for Him to step into His role as Messiah, then He trusted her and did so.

Girls, God also has chosen your parents and the other adults in your life to guide and influence you. Yes, He gave you a brain and a personality to make you your own special person, but He also wants us to be willing to listen to those around us.

Many times our parents and other adult friends can see things in us that we cannot.

They believe in us even when we’re not believing we’re ready.

We just have to be willing to listen. And to believe and act on what they say.

For this week in the comments, tell us about a time someone else encouraged you to try something new- and they were right!

Love you girls!

Hannah

Fighting With Yourself

Hi Tribelet! Asher here. Firstly, I’m sorry for being less active on the blog this month. My exam season has been pretty hectic, but luckily the worst of it’s over now! I’m so glad to be back.

I’m absolutely loving the guest posts and Mini-Makers entries this month – you are all so creative and supportive of each other!

Today, I’ll be contributing my own two cents, discussing the internal battles we all face.

Who’s your worst enemy?

Although I’ve seen my fair share of nasty people, I must admit that I am my own worst enemy. I often fail to do what I know it’s right. It’s a constant cycle of deciding to do what God wants, relying on my own strength, failing to put it into action and feeling like a loser for falling short.

One of the disciples, Paul, has similar thoughts:

“I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”

(Romans 7:18-20, MSG)

Every day, we fight these internal battles of choosing what God wants or what we want. It’s tough when you want to go over to that girl sitting alone, but you don’t want to be laughed at by your classmates, either.

As Paul says, this isn’t the case of not knowing what is right. We have a pretty good gut instinct of that, thanks to the Bible and the Holy Spirit. It’s the case of fighting to do what is right. But that’s easier said than done: doing what we want is easier, it’s in our comfort zone, more attractive…

If you’re tired of fighting, you’re not alone. Here are a few things you can try:

– Realize you’re not struggling alone – God is fighting for you! Since we’re imperfect humans, if we rely on our own strength, we’ll only end up feeling weak and burnt out. Let’s rely on God instead.

– Get into the habit of praying when your temptation comes up, whether that be a second packet of chips or a chance to cheat in a test. This will help you focus on what is right.

– Prepare. You could make a list of potential temptations in your prayer journal, and then think of a solution for each one. For example, if you struggle with getting distracted doing homework, you could plan to put away your phone and work in the same room as your dad to stay more focused.

– Get support from someone you trust, maybe your best friend, your mom or your youth group leader, and check in with them often. They’ll be able to help keep you accountable, encouraging you to go and talk to the lonely girl and speak up about God.

– Forgive yourself. It can be easily to fall down that slippery slope of being hard on yourself, but please remember that we all struggle with sin. After all, Paul, who was considered as one of the most faithful disciples did as well! God has already forgiven you and is waiting for you to get up and fight again.

Let’s do our best to see temptation as an opportunity for God to lift us up, not something that pulls us down.

We’d love to know: What temptations are in your life right now? How are you going to fight against them? We’ll be praying for you all!

Stay strong,

Asher