If you’ve ever seen a child open his or her gifts at a birthday party, you know that it’s human nature to care more about the gift than the giver. So often, we unwrap the gifts and blessings in our lives with the sole intention of enjoying them—not of thanking the giver.
This was also the case with the man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. As soon as Jesus healed him, this is what happened next:
“The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”
Here’s the problem: we get blessed by God, but we stop there. This man got excited about the gift, but didn’t recognize who it was from. This is why I take time to teach: because we’ve got to know who it is that blessed us.
Why did Jesus find the man in the temple afterwards? Because Jesus didn’t want to remain anonymous. This is also why we pray in Jesus’s name—so the results can’t be attributed to anyone or anything else When we give glory to His name, He receives the honor for the gifts and blessings we enjoy. When you take that Name out of the equation—when we simply fixate on the gift and forget about the Giver—we become like everybody else.
Dr. Derek Grier