What our world needs…

One day I will react the right way in the right moment–but yesterday I missed that moment.

Meredith had just received some news from a friend and wanted to share it with me. The news—her friend’s eight-year-old cousin had been walking across the street to get the mail when he was hit and killed by a car.

My reaction–repulsion (wrong move). Anger (wrong move again). And distance (wrong move again again). In that moment my mind and body shot up every defense. I did not want to let in the tragic death of an eight-year-old.

In that moment I couldn’t. Because I knew it would make me think about my own soon-to-be eight-year-old. And the nightmare it would be if she was killed by a car in front of our house. (Just typing that last sentence makes my hands shake, and my insides want to vomit.)

Sometimes (particularly when I’m not consciously wearing my “pastor” hat) it is difficult for me to enter into another’s pain. Outside of “work” my flesh does not want to do it.

I think I’m just scared of pain. Real pain. Overwhelming, now-I-feel-helpless, hit-you-in-the-gut, came-out-of left-field kind of pain.

When I’m prepared (like when someone says “can I talk to you?”) I’m fine. Pastor hat on. Silent prayers for guidance check. Eyes forward, ears open—let’s go. But if it comes out of nowhere, and it hits close to home…my gut response is to push it away.

It’s a reaction based on fear.

I’m very thankful Jesus is not like this. In fact I am down right amazed at how Jesus enters into our pain.

Condescended from heaven, he entered our world as a helpless child. His heart was full of compassion for every person who came to him. He never shrunk back or ran away. No defenses. No anger. No distance.

Instead he humbled himself, entering into the pain of others all the way up to the cross. And then on the cross he entered into and was covered in the pain of every human being ever to exist.

I can’t help thinking as I scroll through my Facebook feed, and read news headlines, how unique Jesus is. I also can’t help thinking that what our world needs now is not more people proclaiming what is right and wrong (in their own eyes). Not more people mocking what they see or hear. And not more people being repulsed by what they see or hear.

All of that is just our defenses against the pain.

What our world needs is more people who will take the very unpopular and self-debasing action of entering into the pain of others.

We need people of real courage, full of compassion, who are not afraid to get covered in pain. People who are not afraid to feel overwhelmed or helpless by the stories and actions of others.

We need more Jesus-like people.

I confess, I need help in this area.

Maybe you do too.

Let us confess our fears to God. And let us pray that we, like Jesus, could have the courage to enter into the pain of others.



So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:1-8)


Who’s My Neighbor?

I’m reading a very convicting book right now. It’s called The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. It begins by asking the reader to play the following game:

Think about your eight closest neighbors. To do this just imagine a Tic-Tac-Toe game piece. Then put your house in the middle. Next think about the eight houses in the sounding boxes. (Need a visual? Click here).

Now try to answer the following questions about each of your closest neighbors.

1. What are the  names of the people who live in the households represented by each of the other boxes?

2. What are some relevant facts about the people in each house? For example, where were they born? What is their job? What do they like to do?…etc.

3.  What’s something personal you know about each person in each of the houses? For example, what are their dreams? Do they believe in God? What do they fear? Or some other meaningful bit of information that you could only know after a meaningful interaction with them.


Take your time…


Now, how did you do?


Yeah, my sheet was mostly blank too. Turns out we’re not alone. The authors of the book report the following:

  • About 10 percent of people are able to name the names of all eight of their neighbors.
  • Only about 3 percent of people can share any facts about their eight neighbors.
  • And less than 1 percent of people know any personal information about their eight closest neighbors.


I’m not even in the 10 percent group.


Here’s the hard news (and the whole point of the book). Jesus said to love our neighbors. And there is no reason to believe that Jesus didn’t mean love our actual neighbors—people who physically live next door to us.

Which means if you’re like me, (you actually want to follow Jesus) then you need to make a change. So let’s do it together.

This summer let’s commit to praying for our eight closest neighbors. Let’s commit to building relationships with our neighbors. Let’s commit to learning something meaningful about our neighbors.

We all desire to see our neighbors have their lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news is, so does God. That’s why he led you to live where you live.

God has put us in our houses so that we can represent (and be ambassadors for) Jesus to our actual neighbors. God wants us to step out in faith and begin to pray for our neighbors so that we might get to know our neighbors. So that God might open a door for them to one day hear and respond to the gospel.

I’m not gonna lie, this makes me nervous. I’d much rather share the gospel with 100 strangers then the person living 100 feet from my door.   But hey, if Jesus said “Love your neighbor” then I guess we ought to actually love our neighbors.

Who’s up for it?



To learn more about how you can love your neighbor join me this summer in reading the book, The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door

Or check out their website http://artofneighboring.com/

Or watch this video for a little inspiration:

The Only Reason I Put Up With Gardening


My dad was a gardener. But his ability to care for plants did not trickle down to me. When I try to care for our gardens I usually just end up all itchy with a sunburn. I do not like gardening.

But I do I like gardens.

I like the end product. I like the beauty that radiates from a well-cared for garden. I like the invitation to serenity that a garden offers. But most of all, I like the grace that is displayed in a garden.

Every time I look at a manicured lawn, a well-watered flower, a perfectly trimmed rose bush, a sprouting tulip, a tree in full bloom, I am struck by one simple thought:

“It didn’t have to be this way…”

It is very easy to conceive of a world in which trees have no color. Or a world where every tree is poisonous. It is very easy to conceive of a world where flowers have no fragrance. Or a world where there are no such things as flowers, but instead only weeds. It is very easy to conceive of a world where grassy lawns never turn green (a strange place called California :). Or a world where all grass feels like shards of glass. We could have lived in a world where every plant was bred to kill us.

Our world could have been a very different place.

And yet, we live in a world soaked with beauty. We live in a world where elements of nature provide us peace. We live in a world where something as small and insignificant as plants can offer us transcendent pleasure.

This, by definition, is grace. For we are getting something we did not earn nor even necessarily deserve. We are given the gift of experiencing colors, wondering at beauty, enjoying nature. Why?

What did we do to make it happen?

We had no control over how the universe was formed. We had no control over what plants came into being. We had no control over what world we would be born into.

It is all grace. And it is grace that’s not just available to some people. It is grace that is available to all people, in all places.

It is what theologians call Common Grace. Grace, given freely by God, to all people.

“It didn’t have to be this way…”

For some reason gardens always remind me of this fact. The fact that I live in a world saturated with God’s common grace.

Sure it is true that our grace-filled environment has also been marred by sin.  So now, for a season, it may take some work (on most weekends, a lot of work) to maintain the beauty which God has made available. But it is worth it.

Because few things are better than interacting with, seeing, and sharing God’s common grace.

Overcoming Shame and Regret


How do we overcome shame and regret?

I’ve been a Christian since I was four. But that didn’t stop me at different times of my life from doing some very un-Christian things. And some of those things, though in the distant past, still try to haunt me–and for a while they did haunt me.

Maybe you know what that is like. Maybe there are some things in your past that you just can’t seem to shake. Maybe you have memories that are full of  shame and regret. Maybe there’s  a voice in your head that still whispers at you, “You’re  not _____ enough.

Maybe you wonder if you could ever be free.

I’m not an expert on the subject. But there are a few steps that have helped me. And they are the first steps I share with others when they ask for help.

These steps of course aren’t magic pills.  Rather they are practices that over time will open you to the healing that God has for you.


1. Confess your sins

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

You’ve probably already done this. Probably a number of times. But just in case you haven’t, know that confession is the first place to start. The French medieval monk Bernard of Clairvaux  once wrote, “God removes the sin of the one who makes humble confession, and thereby the devil loses the sovereignty he had gained over the human heart.”[1]  Confession shines light on the darkness. It begins to break the chains of slavery. It pours living water onto our inner burning coals. That is why confession of sin is always the first step to freedom. Start with confession to God. Then, as James writes, “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). If you don’t have someone to confess to, start with a pastor, or a trusted friend.


2. Stand on God’s Promises

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

Confession may be the place to start (and a great step to keep repeating), but it is only a place to start. Often, even after much confession, we still struggle to believe that we are truly forgiven and no longer deserving of shame and regret. When this happens the best thing we can do is proclaim the promises Jesus has made to us. The famous 19th-century preacher Charles Spurgeon reminds us, “Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request, ‘Do as Thou hast said.’ The Heavenly Father will not break His Word to His own child.”[2] What are  some of the promises of God? Here’s a link to get you started.


3. Embrace Your New Identity in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Personally I find this to be the hardest step. I find that everything in this world wants me to forget that I am a new creation created in Christ Jesus. That I am now a son of the King, an adopted heir of a new kingdom. The reason for this is because, as Professor Neil Anderson states, “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can’t change God and he can’t do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however, he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ isn’t true.”[3]  And if we believe the lie that our identity has not changed, we will continue to live with all the shame and regret of our old self. The good news is that Jesus Christ has given us a new identity (in fact, many new identities) and real freedom comes when we accept and embrace our new identity in Christ. (Who are we in Christ? Click here for a list.)


4. Find Support From Other Believers

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

For the longest time I thought following Jesus could be done on my own. But now I am convinced that every believer needs to be part of a community. Because the temptations, attacks, and stresses of life are just too overwhelming for us to handle on our own. We need help from others. We need support from others. C.S. Lewis put it best: “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”[4] We need at least a few trusted, mature believers whom we can count on for encouragement, wisdom, guidance, and accountability. Without such support we will surely fall back into our old ways and beliefs and we will never be untangled from feelings of shame and regret.


God did not intend for feelings of shame and regret to be a part of your life. Thankfully he made a way for us to be free from them. Like I said before, the above steps are just a place to start. But hopefully you find them helpful. If you would like more guidance or just someone to pray for you, use my contact form and send me a note. I’d be happy to help in any way that I can.



[1] Commentary on the Song of Songs

[2] Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings

[3] Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ

[4] The Quotable Lewis

Why We Struggle With Perfectionists


When Meredith and I were first married, Meredith was hard to be around.

Meredith was good at a lot of things which I was not. She had higher standards for herself than I had for myself. There were ways in which she appeared perfect. And it appeared she liked to live out of that perfection.

But the problem was not her, or her perfections. The problem was me.

Perfectionists get a bad rap in our culture. And I’m one of the reasons why. Because to me, and especially when I w640px-Wine_grapes03as first married, perfection seemed stupid. Perfection, it seemed, was just an impossible standard to strive for. So why bother?

But what has become clear to me in the subsequent years is that perfection is not stupid. It just makes me feel stupid.  In the case of Meredith, seeing her perfections just made me more aware of my own imperfections.

Now of course in reality Meredith has her faults just as I have mine. But if you’re a Christian then you’re in a relationship with someone who really doesn’t have any imperfections. You’re in a relationship with someone who actually is perfect.

Jesus, we are told, was/is without sin[1]. His earthly life, recorded in the four Gospels, shows this. He has no faults. He does everything right. And he holds himself and others to the highest of standards[2]. Jesus is, in every way, a perfectionist[3].

Yet we are called to abide in him[4]. That is, we are told to be close to him, to rest in him, to dwell with him, to enjoy him.

And if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that abiding with Jesus can sometimes be really tough. Sometimes we just don’t want to. And I wonder if the reason we don’t want to is because sometimes we just don’t want to be around someone who is perfect. Because the longer we’re with him, and the closer we get to him, the more we’re aware of  the depths and fullness of our depravity. And we don’t like it.

Of course, the awareness of our sin isn’t the result of Jesus pointing his finger at us. It is simply the result of being in the presence of perfection. Being with Jesus is like looking into a perfect mirror and seeing the full truth of our reflection. It’s hard to look at.

No one can be around Jesus for long and not see their wretchedness. All who follow Jesus come to a point where they, like Peter, tell Jesus to “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.”[5] Those of us who struggle with the reality of ourselves are always tempted to run or push others away.

But Jesus would prefer another option. His desire for us is that in our wretchedness we lean in. He wants us to abide in him more.

He can desire such intimacy because he has already seen us as we are. Our weakness, our sin, our insecurities, our frailties, our dirt, our past, our thoughts, our selfishness, our lack of perfection from top to bottom is nothing new to him. He saw it all and still called us to “Come, follow me.”[6]

But of course Jesus, because he is Jesus, didn’t call us to stay as we were. He called us to repent[7], turn from our sin[8], and follow him so that he could wash us[9], renew us[10], and ultimately transform us[11]. He called us in order that he might make us perfect like him[12].

When we understand this, we’re no longer tempted to run from the Perfect One. But instead we will, like Charles Spurgeon, believe that Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill.”[13]

No one likes to see themselves for who they really are. To face the reality of our dirt and grime will always be uncomfortable. But such a revelation should not trigger us to run away. Rather, such a revelation should always be seen as an invitation for us to come and be made clean.


Oh that we would abide in you, Jesus, more and more every day. That we might see ourselves more clearly in your reflection. And may we, as dirty vessels, allow you to continue to wash us with your blood that we might become more and more like you, our Perfect Lord and Savior. Amen.



[1] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[2] Matthew 5-7

[3] Matthew 19:21

[4] John 15:4-9

[5] Luke 5:8

[6] Mark 1:17

[7] Matthew 4:17

[8] John 8:11

[9] John 13:5; 1 Corinthians 16:11

[10] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[11] 2 Corinthians 3:18

[12] Romans 8:29

[13]  Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening…

Relapse: How can we stop doing the things we don’t want to do?


I’m not a “baseball guy”. I like the sport. But currently I couldn’t name more than half a dozen players. Yet, when I recently read that Angels’ player Josh Hamilton had relapsed with his drug abuse, my heart sank.

I don’t know him. I can’t even fathom what it is like to be him. But I can relate. Because I do know what it is like to relapse.375px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_002

I know what it is like to do something you never thought you’d do again. I know what it is like to be overwhelmed with temptation. I know what it is like to have your mind switch into auto-pilot. I know what it is like to do a sinful action in a completely routine-like manner. I know what it is like to say “I’ll never do that again.” And I know what it is like to later do “it” again.


It’s not just a drug addiction thing.

It’s a gossip thing. It’s a cheating thing. It’s a yelling-at-your-kids thing. It’s a lying thing. It’s a lust thing. It’s a being-selfish thing. It’s a not-caring thing. It’s a self-comfort thing. It’s a sin thing.

It’s a thing every person, every Christian, goes through.

What’s the solution?

The answer is found in the book of Romans. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 7:15-25,

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!


Paul was no stranger to relapse. But he found freedom in Jesus Christ.

Freedom came when he acknowledged he was helpless to change himself. Freedom came when he saw his desperate need for a savior. Freedom came when he looked to Jesus Christ as that Savior.

It is the same for us today.

Freedom from relapse comes when we surrender ourselves to Jesus.


I thank God, that Josh Hamilton knows this. He surrendered himself to Jesus once before.

My heartfelt prayer is that by God’s grace he will surrender himself once again.

Pray for our brother Josh. And let us pray for ourselves that we will not fall into temptation (Luke 22:40).

Bad Recruiting Day


“And I don’t think Michigan State and Michigan did all that well,” said the radio DJ this morning. He was referring to the recruiting ability of each school. Yesterday was National Signing Day.

“Ouch,” I thought.

Not so much for the schools but for the players. Can you imagine working your whole life to play college sports?

You put in the time, you work extra hard at practices, you train more than your teammates, you change your diet, you 1280px-20121220_Jabari_Parker_verbal_commitment_press_conference_team_hatsmake sacrifices, you work at mental focus, and you excelled in most, if not all your games.

You make it!

You’ve been recruited. Maybe by a school you’ve dreamed of playing for your whole life.

And then some guy on the radio quips about your school’s choice, “They didn’t do so well.” Which is just another way of saying the school’s coach “recruited bad players” or at least the coach “didn’t recruit the players he should have.”


But that’s the business of sports. Players know where they stand. They know their role on the team. And they do their best not to care what some guy on the radio says about them.

Still, I wonder if it hurts to work so hard and still be told you’re not good enough.

Even if we’re not athletes (and I am certainly no athlete) it’s still a snare many of us fall into. We believe if we just work hard enough, have the right kind of “stats”, make the right kind of “team” then everything will be ok. We’ll be accepted. We’ll be loved. Life will be good.

Of course that isn’t true.

We can work hard, have great stats, be recruited by the right teams and still have people imply or tell us outright that we’re not good enough because we didn’t meet their (or our) standards. (Often we’re the people telling us we’re not good enough.)

Thankfully there is another kind of leader and another kind of team, one that intentionally recruits bad players with bad stats, yet is remarkably successful.

Jesus is a leader who intentionally recruits bad players with bad stats to play on his Kingdom of God team. And from the beginning his team has done quite well.

In Mark 3:13-19 we read:

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”

John MacArthur reminds us:

“Not one of them was renowned for scholarship or great erudition…They were not outstanding because of any natural talents or intellectual abilities. On the contrary they were prone to mistakes, misstatements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith, and bitter failure…Yet with all their faults and character flaws…these men carried on a ministry after Jesus’ ascension that left indelible impact on the world.  Their ministry continues to influence us even today.” [1]

This makes me incredibly thankful…

Because my stats aren’t great—by some standards they’re downright bad. But Jesus still wants me. He wanted me enough to sacrifice himself for me. And he is able to use me to have an impact on the world around me. Not because of who I am but because of who he is. He is the coach that loves to show his ability through my inability.

Jesus never has a bad recruiting day.




[1] John MacArthur. Twelve Ordinary Men pp.xii-xiii

Your Most Overlooked Asset


I’m the type of guy who prefers to cover up his weaknesses. I doubt I’m alone in the preference.

But the longer I walk with Jesus, the more I’m convinced that’s the wrong way to go about things.

Jesus, through his incarnation, intentionally took on weakness (Phil 2:6-8).Saint_Paul,_Rembrandt_van_Rijn_(and_Workshop-),_c._1657

Jesus told the Apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

So the Apostle Paul responds, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 2:10).

And in an earlier letter (to the same church), Paul reminds us that when it comes to spiritual gifts of those in the body of Christ, “those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Cor 12:22).

What starts to become clear is that, as Christians, our greatest weakness might actually be our greatest asset. Notice I didn’t say strength. I know Paul said that when he is weak, he is strong. But we often hear his words differently than he intends.  At least I do.

I tend to think that if I give my weakness over to God, that somehow he’ll take away the weakness. Or at least the weakness won’t bother me as much– that is, I won’t feel as hindered by it. But that is not what Paul is saying.

The weakness doesn’t miraculously change.  We still experience the burden of limitation. We still have to rely on others for help. We still, in many ways, feel weak. The difference is that now the weakness is an asset to us. It is valuable to us in the sense that it is the means by which God wants to display his glory through us. It is the means by which we get to see God more.

In some strange way our weaknesses may actually be gifts.

If that sounds strange to you, take five minutes and watch the video below.  You won’t regret it. I can’t get enough of this guy…

What’s your weakness? How might God be wanting to show himself off through you?

What you can expect from Jesus in 2015


A group of men come to Jesus. One of them is disabled. The men know Jesus can heal people. Because the last time Jesus was in their town he healed everyone that came to him. Unfortunately the disabled man and his friends weren’t around. They missed out.

But not this time.

Jesus is back in town. The crowd at his house is so large no one else can get in. But this doesn’t stop the group of men. Together they haul their disabled companion up the exterior house stairs. Then they rip through the roof in order to lower their friend down to Jesus.  No time to worry about the damage to the house. They’ll take care of that later.

For now, they have one concern. Get our disabled friend to Jesus.

It works.

They lower the man right it front of Jesus. Jesus sees the man. Jesus sees that the man is disabled.

The men look down from the roof, hope fills their hearts. They did what they set out to accomplish.

A hush falls over the crowd inside the house. Everyone is expecting Jesus to do one thing. The same thing Jesus did the last time he was in town. Heal someone.

But Jesus doesn’t meet their expectations. At least not right away. Instead with compassion in his eyes, Jesus says to the disabled man, “Son your sins are forgiven.”

The words catch everyone off guard.

In particular, the words of Jesus irritate the religious experts in the room. They know that only God can forgive sins. Jesus knows what they are thinking. And he knows that they are right.

But what they don’t know yet is that Jesus is God. So Jesus shows them.

He says to the disabled man, “get up, take your mat, and go home.” The disabled man stands up, picks up his mat, and goes home. Everyone is amazed. They break out in worship, praising God saying, “we have never seen anything like this!”

Now there are new expectations.

John MacArthur once asked, what is the one thing that makes Jesus different from every other religious leader and Christianity different than any other religion?

His answer, only Jesus can forgive sins. Only Christianity offers (through Jesus) the forgiveness of sins.

This is significant.

Other people can heal our physical needs (and other similar needs –financial, relational, emotional etc.)

But only God can heal our spiritual need. The need to be freed from the guilt and eternal consequences of all our wrong doings. The need to be forgiven.

Jesus healed the disabled man to prove that he has the authority to forgive sins. But Jesus doesn’t heal everyone. Not then. And not now.

I was reminded of this harsh reality when I was guest preaching last week. In the front row of a few hundred people sat a young  girl in a wheelchair.

Why doesn’t Jesus heal her?

Jesus cares for all that he has made. But to heal the body is a temporary fix. And every other need outside the need for God to forgive our sins is temporary.

Jesus came to provide us more than just a temporary fix.  He came to give us something that would last forever and could never be taken away.

A status change.

From enemy of God to adopted son or daughter of God. From sinner to saint. From slave to sin to slave to righteousness. From recipient of God’s wrath to recipient of God’s grace. From worshiper of gods to the worshiper of God. From the hopeless to the hopeful. From a seeker of love to one that is loved unconditionally.

All such status changes (and more) come from receiving the forgiveness of sins.

In 2015 you and I will be needy. We will have physical needs, relational needs, emotional needs, financial needs. We should takes all these needs to Jesus.

But let us come expecting that Jesus wants to do something more than just provide us with temporary fixes. The disabled man and his friends were drawn to Jesus because of a physical need. But Jesus used the opportunity to heal the man’s greater need.  We should expect that Jesus will do the same with each of us.