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The Man At The Back Of The Line

The Man At The Back Of The Line       Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

THE MAN AT THE BACK OF THE LINE (KJV)

By James L. Thornton

We have all experienced having to go to the back of the line on many occasions while shopping, and sometime at rush hour or during certain seasons it seems that we will never get to the front of the line.

In this study we will take a look at a man who was stuck at the back of the line for many years before he finally got what he came for.

John 5:1. After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

4. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

5. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole?

7. The impotent man answered him, sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8. Jesus saith unto him, rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. 

John 5:5. A certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

38 years is a long time to any man.

It is a longer time to a man who is sick.

And to a sick man who has no friends, it is a longer time.

To the man at the pool of Bethesda time had no end.

All the days to him were alike,

Chilly, drab and hopeless.

No one had ever seemed to see this man.

Have you ever felt that no one ever sees you,

Ever pays any attention to you,

Or, even cares about you?

38 years in one of the busiest places in Jerusalem.

Men constantly passed the spot where he lay.

Keen-eyed merchants, traders, vine dressers,

Shepherds, soldiers, publicans, scholars,

Church officials, scribes, Pharisees, priests, Levites,

And thousand of ordinary people passed through there daily.

They came and went, yet not one ever seemed to see this man.

Why?

It is because everyone was thinking of himself.

One had bought a piece of ground, and was in a hurry to see it,

Another had heard about 5 yoke of oxen for sale,

Another had married a wife. (Luke 14:18-20)

So none of them had time to assist this man's assistance.

We try not to see anyone when we are in a hurry,

Especially stop and help. (Luke 10:31-32)

This man could not depend on the other invalids,

They had enough troubles of their own.

It was every man for himself.

This principal still exists.

This man was always at the back of the line.

A sick man lies for years in the world's holiest city,

Yet none came to help him.

Year after year,

Month after month,

Week after week,

They made their sacrifices, and prayers,

Amidst all the elaborate worship,

Yet not a single priest, or worshiper,

Seemed to notice that a fellow man,

Lay impotent just a few yards away.

The fire was kept burning at the altar,

Yet the fire of hope in this man was left to go out.

The man at the back of the line lay in the shadow of death.

I have painted you a cruel picture.

In the fullness of time,

A never to be forgotten day,

Someone else came down to the pool of Bethesda.

He who has a genius for seeing men.

Can we ever forget the day he came into our lives bringing hope?

He glances over every face in the mass of suffering humanity.

His eyes rest at last on the face of the man at the back of the line.

His question seemed to be, "do you need some help?"

What he did that day at Bethesda,

He always did,

And always will.

Luke 19:10. "For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Matthew 9:12b. "… They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."

Matthew 9:13b. "..; For I come to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

He told them at Nazareth,

Luke 4:18. The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 

"He has anointed me to minister to the world's neglected."

Jesus has never swerved from his course,

And to the man at the back of the line that day,

John 5:6. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole?

7. The impotent man answered him, sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8. Jesus saith unto him, rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. 

He said to his followers,

1. "Go to the lost sheep, …"

2. "Heal the sick, …"

3. "Cleanse the lepers, …"

4. "Raise the dead, …"

5. "Cast out devils,…"

He told the man at the back of the line to,

"Rise take up thy bed and walk."

His parables and teachings are about,

Lost sheep,
Lost coin,

Lost son.

The traveler who fell among thieves,

The blind beggar at the gate.

He was always "moved with compassion" toward the multitudes.

A woman came at the back of the line to give her gift, Jesus saw her,

Luke 21:1. And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

2. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

3. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

4. For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. 

He forgave the soldiers who drove the nails into his hands,

And carried a robber to paradise with him.

"Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Philippians 2:9-11)

So next time you find yourself feeling that you are shoved to the back of the line, remember that there is someone who is concerned regardless of the situation.

 

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By, James L. Thornton

 

 

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