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Horizon of Hope

Jesus asked the man at the pool in John 5, “Do you want to get well?”

The man 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”. 

What is remarkable is how low the man’s horizon of hope is. He has been an invalid for 38 years. His life is one of lying down.

He does not understand who is asking the question, he can’t see beyond his circumstances, he can’t think outside the square his life has become, his hopes diminish more each year, each of these factors lead to his horizon of hope being incredibly low… he can only answer in terms of what he’s known—getting into the pool. 

How high is your horizon of hope? It has been a challenging season; in the workplace, in the home and amongst the church family. For many in our church families their horizon of hope extends to getting back to ‘normal’. 

What is striking in the story is how good our saviour is. There are hundreds of thousands of people in Jerusalem at this time. Jesus stops for this man, he learns about him, and then asks him, “do you want to get well?” Jesus heals him completely. 

Jesus—God himself, who became a man, who lived for us, and died for us. Jesus—whose compassion extends to the lowest and most incapacitated of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. 

Jesus—who, amongst Jerusalem’s festivals and feasting, is serving the frail. 

Jesus—who spoke; and the muscles, bones, and nerves within the man were renewed. 

Jesus—who, in healing the lowest, challenges the most powerful. 

Jesus—who chooses to reveal his power, through weakness. 

Here’s what moves me greatly: Jesus is to frame our horizon of hope, not the circumstances we find ourselves in. 

I don’t want to minimise the challenging season we are in. The spiritual, societal, and legal complexity we find ourselves in is daunting. What will frame our horizon of hope? Will it be our circumstances or will it be Christ? 

Can I encourage you to be looking to Jesus, through the gospel, from the Scriptures, by his Spirit. 

Can I encourage you that the risen Jesus sits at God’s right hand and is interceding for you and your church family. 

Can I encourage you that the Holy Spirit lives in you, and in those in your church family. 

Can I encourage you that more of us are having more spiritual conversations with seekers than ever before. 

Can I encourage you, as church leaders, that Jesus is our horizon of hope.
 
(I’m grateful for Nigel Pollock, former TSCF National Director and now National Director for Inter-Varsity Canada, who coined the phrase the ‘horizon of hope’ when preaching on this passage at the CCCNZ Regional Conferences in 2018).



 

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