Have you ever been confronted by God? While you think about it, I will go ahead and answer the question for you, yes, we’ve all been confronted by God. It’s what He does. Last week we discussed God’s mercy and how it is displayed through three steps, first God relents from giving us what we deserve, second God confronts us with the truth of our condition and His character and then, through confession, repentance and forgiveness, God communes with us in relationship. For God to be merciful He must be confrontational. In the Garden, God didn’t only ask Adam where he was, He also asked “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” He asked Eve, “What is this you have done?” He confronted Abraham about his fears and doubts, Moses for not being circumcised, David for his pride and lust, Peter for his prejudice and Paul for his stubbornness and impatience. Because God is merciful He confronts us because without confrontation there cannot be redemption, restoration or transformation. The difficulty with confrontation is that in itself it cannot create or guarantee change, it simply calls for a response. God confronts every man, He wills that none would perish and yet we see that the way to destruction is broad because, as Ephesians 2:8 teaches us, salvation is by grace, through faith. If we don’t respond to God’s merciful confrontation with repentance and surrender we never enter the communion of relationship, the joy of salvation. Today we are going to look again at Jesus’ confrontation of the man He met at the pool of Bethesda and the Jews that were offended by His work on the Sabbath. I’m praying that we will hear the kindness of Jesus’ words louder than the discomfort of our own hearts, that we will give Him more freedom to expose us so that He can have more opportunity to heal us and that we will learn that being confronted by God always leads to our hearts being changed or hardened, the result is determined by our response. 

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