But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. (John 5:14-15)
Read: 1 Samuel 13:1 – 14:52, 1 Chronicles 9:35-39
Relate: Sin. When the woman was caught in adultery and was brought before Jesus, He forgave her. He prevented others from stoning her to death. He rescued her from that ultimate consequence. Then He said to her: “Go and sin no more.” Do you know one thing Jesus didn’t do? He didn’t wipe everyone’s memory of that event. I can imagine that quite a crowd was gathered to see this showdown. The dramatic events and the way Jesus handled it was seared on everyone’s memory and she was right in the middle of it. For many, many eyes she was the adulteress that Jesus forgave. Forgiven, yes. But unlike God… most others don’t forget. Even in the best possible scenarios, sin still has consequences. Until we get to heaven we can never fully escape the consequences of our sin and even there, Jesus still has the scars.
For the lame man made whole, physical healing was not enough. In other cases a person’s ailment was in no way tied to their sin. When the disciples asked on another occasion, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” Jesus answered, “neither”. That time. In this case, there was a connection. Perhaps it is as simple as he sinned, God punished him. I’d like to imagine it was something more direct. I have no biblical evidence to support the conjecture, but maybe he was robbing a house and fell in his escape. Perhaps he was a peeping tom who fell from the tree. (Can somebody say, “Back To The Future?”) Whatever the connection, Jesus wasn’t content to simply heal the physical. He desired to see a spiritual change as well.
React: Sometimes the consequences of our sin might be incredibly obvious. Why am I so poor? (Because you are lazy) Why did they shut my electric off? (Because you procrastinate) Why did they take my drivers license? (You’re an alcoholic) Why did she divorce me? (You cheated) Why are my kids so rebellious? (You never discipline them) Why do I always have these headaches? (You worry too much instead of trusting God)
Other times we might not see the direct correlation, but it is still there. Ultimately all of us will die. That is because the wages of sin is death. From Adam on, we each have sinned and we each will die, but even from death God can heal. He is more than willing to forgive us. He is more than willing to take the ultimate consequence, hell, from us. He is just waiting for us to ask Him. Will we? Will you?
God, forgive me again. Help me to understand the grave consequences of the wrongs that I have done. Help me to understand the hurt I inflict against myself, against others, and ultimately against You every time I chose to go my own way other than following You. I don’t deserve Your grace yet I ask that You lavish it on me again. I know I have done wrong. I repent. Make me clean and help me to resist temptation as it rears its ugly head in my life. Purify me again. Let me follow You with every action, thought, and breath I have within me.