1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
“Would you like to get well?” An odd question to ask a sick person, but then Jesus is the master of the penetrating question.
Surprisingly, the man doesn’t say, “Duh! Of course I want to get well!” Instead, he starts making excuses: “I can’t get in the pool. It’s not my fault. No one helps me…” Blah, blah, blah.
If the man expects sympathy, he’s talking to the wrong guy. Jesus cuts him off (at least that’s how it seems to me), and says, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Another translation has Jesus saying, “Get up!” (Or maybe, “GET UP!”) And the man does.
Two thoughts ran through my mind at this point:
• Wow! Jesus healed a whiner! Jesus didn’t turn away in disgust, saying, “I’m not wasting the Father’s healing power on you – you don’t deserve it!” No, no. He loves this man, and he’s not going to let him live his life out on the sidelines, just because he’s gotten comfortable there.
• In the blink of an eye, the man chose to stop depending on the ‘magic’ pool and on other people and to leave the only life he’d known, and decided to depend on the power of the God/Man in front of him and to begin a new life. What a change!
How often do I choose to whine and wallow when Jesus is right there, waiting for me? Am I guilty of becoming ‘comfortable’ with the things in my life I say I want to change? Do I have the courage to invite Jesus to ask me such a question?
Jesus, thank you for never – ever! – giving up on me; help me let go of my comfortable excuses and “get up” in faith.
Dialog discuss: Who do you credit with the supernatural/unnatural?
Dr. Cameron: Short of a miracle, there is no way she could have
Dr. House: Why does God get all the credit? – House