Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SOAP Thoughts: John 5

As part of a Bible class time a while back, I introduced the idea of the S.O.A.P. method of Bible/Devotional reflection. In short, the letters stand for: S (Scripture), O (Observation), A (Application), and P (Prayer). Here are some of the idea that we talked about in that class from our brief time together in John 5:1-17:

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic[a] called Bethesda,[b] which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews[d] said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
We noticed that the man at the well blamed others in his interaction with the Jews (v. 10+). Then, we realized that the man's initial reaction to Jesus' question could also be seen as placing blame. He never actually answers Jesus, but rather offers excuses as to why he hasn't been healed already.

We also observed that Jesus doesn't just heal the man but also includes a command to walk and to sin no more. We talked about how Jesus often includes a command at the conclusion of His miracles (go home, walk, sin no more, go and tell the priests, etc).

Simply stated...to become increasingly aware of our desire to provide excuses for why we don't do something and to commit (through the power of the Holy Spirit) to get better at limiting our excuse-giving.

We also talked about being "doers of the Word" instead of simply being "hearers of the Word".

Heavenly Father,
Just as you healed the man even in the midst of his excuses, so to you have healed us in the midst of our stubborn resistance to your will. Thanks you, Father.
Empower us to live differently. To not offer excuses, but rather to become doers of your will.
In Jesus name,


  1. Amen.

    Empower us to move away from Excuse Avenue, which intersects with Failure's Place and Procrastination Point!

    Thank you for sharing the S.O.A.P idea with us. I rather like and appreciation the "application" portion.

  2. I've always wondered if the man actually wanted to be healed or did he like the sympathy? Could he not have paid or begged a friend to help him? And, he did obey Jesus.