John 5:2-3 – Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
From the Hebrew language, the word “Bethesda” means “house of kindness.” When you consider the conditions around the pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the cripple man, the multitudes who came, or were brought there day after day, only to leave in the same condition in which they came, I hardly see Bethesda as a house of kindness. It may, at some point in the past, have been precisely that. But it was not so on the day Jesus came to the cripple man. With that in mind, let us examine what we call our churches today.
We call our churches “houses of worship.” Are they? Is the place we call our church truly a “house of worship,” or have we made it a stage for entertaining, complete with lights, colors, and various other stage crafts? Mark me – we can, and I believe should use every tool we have for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that includes all manner of stage craft and arts that can truly be used to bring forth the saving, healing, delivering truth of God’s Word. But once again I ask you to consider, are our churches TRULY “houses of worship?”
We call our churches “houses of prayer.” Are they? Jesus said they should be, but are they really known as places where prayer is made and God’s answers are manifest? We may “say a prayer,” but are we really praying? We may say we’re having a prayer meeting, but how much of the meeting is actually given to prayer? I can still remember, as a child, attending what everyone called a “prayer meeting” on Wednesday nights. And yet little time was ever given to prayer. We would sing, have testimony time, give an offering, and hear a message from the pastor or a selected speaker, but the only prayer heard was a short prayer for the offering, a brief opening prayer at the reading of the Word, and a concluding prayer when the speaking was done. Little attention was really given to prayer, but it was still called a “prayer meeting.”
My question is simple. Are our churches TRULY what we call them? If so, let us rejoice. If not, perhaps it is time we re-examined our purpose as God’s house. Yes, we also call our churches the “house of God.” Is it, or do we only expect Him to come for an occasional visit?
Manna for Today – John 5:1-17