Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Lent, Day 28
" 'Do you want to be well?' The sick man answered Him, 'Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up...' " John 5:6b-7a
The story of the man by the pool is intriguing. There was a pool called Bethsaida (or Bethesda, or Bethzatha, depending on the translation you use). This pool was by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. Sick people lay all around: "invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed". Why were they there? An angel of the Lord visited this pool occasionally and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped into the pool first would be healed. Incredible!
This man, though, who had been sick for 38 years, had no one to put him into the water. So there he stayed, hoping beyond hope that someone would come along to help him get into the water. He most likely thought Jesus would do this for him. What a surprise when Jesus instead said, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And the man did!
The rest of the story is that the man met some Pharisees, who were upset that he carried his pallet on a Sabbath. But the man simply said that the man who healed him said to carry it! Later, Jesus saw the man in the temple, and said, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." The man went to the Pharisees again, letting them know Who had healed him.
I think the fact that the man was in the temple after being healed could tell us quite a bit. He was there to worship so soon after being healed. (I'd have to check, but there's probably something in the Law regarding offering sacrifice after being healed.) Jesus' words to him were a reminder, though, to live up to his healing. "Remember where you came from," in a sense.
It is good for us to remember where the Lord brought us from, and then look forward to where He is taking us. The man's future was probably very unclear. But he needed to remember the years spent by the pool, and look forward to what he could do for God now that he was healed.
And by the way, where were all the Pharisees when this man needed assistance to get into the pool??? I guess that's a post for another day! :o)
My offering to God: I will comfort someone who is sick.