Yesterday we saw how Jesus healed the Official’s lad, faith in action seen. Today we visit a pool where the sick went for healing in John 5:1-17.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
A trip was made from Capernaum to Jerusalem. I don’t know if he went up there before or after the feast of the Jews. But there was a feast and Jesus went to Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem was a pool called Bethesda, over by the Sheep Gate. Now this pool was rather special. The sick and injured would lay around it waiting and when the water stirred would try to be first ones into it. Then healing would happen! Neat eh?
Of course the downside of this pool becomes readily apparent when Jesus stops to talk to an invalid. Everyone there would want to be healed and the quickest down the steps would win….even if someone would already be in the process of going. It’s hard not to see it as a push fest. Look!!! The water stirred! Get in Get in!!!
Jesus put an end to that mad rush for this invalid, simply asking him if he’d like to be healed. and then healing him.
Again, the man needed to act on faith. He needed to believe that Jesus meant what he said. He needed to get up and walk. He was indeed healed.
Problem arose. Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath. So when the man got up carrying his bedroll he was called to account by the Jews who found him.
Can you imagine it? You’ve been healed. You are doing what you are told and then you get in trouble for it? You are walking again!!! What does anything else matter to you then eh? He couldn’t even point out that it was Jesus because he couldn’t see him anymore and there was a crowd of people around.
Jesus sought him out later though, finding him in the temple and said “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man’s response was to go tell the Jewish people that it was Jesus who healed him. This gave the Jews incentive to persecute Jesus, because Jesus didn’t pay attention to the days of the week, he just went about doing the things of God. He didn’t care if it was the Sabbath or not.
I read those words eh?
Jesus saying “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Sometimes I feel like I am not working. That all I see is my here and now and I don’t see beyond my own borders. I read passages like this and only think and see how I fail to work as the Lord works. God doesn’t care about what day of the week he helps someone. He doesn’t watch the clock, or social conventions, or ….. he just gets about his business. Most of the time I can’t even really see what work the Lord wants me to be about doing. I raise my boy and try to help him grow in the Lord, I try to support my hubby in this time of transition, and try to show God through my blog. I have a hard time seeing beyond that. My work at the foodbank is mostly behind the scenes being helpful type of stuff…
So when it comes to work for the Lord, I don’t see myself in a good light. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who reads this passage and thinks the same. How do I see the work that I do, do in a good light? How do I find value in the raising of a lad and the supporting of a hubby? It doesn’t exactly rank up with doing evangelistic work or healing the sick, or feeding the poor, or helping street people or going door to door….
The question facing me I suppose is this. Am I doing what I am asked to do? Am I abdicating my responsibility as a wife and mother? If not.. then I need to ask: Am I doing what I can to raise my boy in the faith? Do I pray for my family? Is listening to my husband something I willingly do? Do I willingly talk about the Lord and offer the comfort of his spirit when called upon to do so? If I can answer these questions well, then am I doing what I aught to be doing? I think so yes? Though admittedly, I can probably do more… it’s just a matter of learning what that more is I think eh?