by Esther Griggs

Here is a man who for 38 years had been ill. On this particular day, he is at a pool named Bethesda. There was a legend built up about that pool.

It was believed that an angel, at certain times, would come into the water and stir it up. The first person that stepped in after that stirring was healed, no matter the disease.

There were all kinds of sick people around. There were the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. They were all waiting, watching for the water to move.

We don’t know what the illness was in the man Jesus spoke to. We know the man was looking for an answer.

We don’t know why Jesus chose this individual out of the multitude. We know he did.

We don’t know what Jesus thought about the legend. We know that He had the power to heal.

“Do you want to be made well?” Perhaps the man thought it was obvious. He doesn’t answer the question but rather gives an excuse. It must have got to the heart of the matter for when Jesus told him to

“Rise, take up your bed and walk”

We are told he immediately did so. There had been an authority in the words Jesus spoke. It caused a raucous with the religious leaders because Jesus healed the man on a day that work was forbidden. The man’s healing required some effort on his part. He was reprimanded. It wasn’t his fault he had told them, it was the fault of the one who healed him. He didn’t however, know who that was.

Jesus finds him later at the temple, not at the market. He finds him in the House of God. Perhaps it is gratitude that brought him here. Perhaps the door that Jesus opened created a spiritual hunger. He speaks to him.

“See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

Now he knows that Jesus was his healer.

Jesus met the man at the door of his need. He couldn’t see beyond his illness. Once it was gone, Jesus could reveal himself and speak into the man’s life.

Jesus opens the doors for us to enter into a relationship with him. He speaks to our need. He demands a response. He reveals Himself to us and speaks to our wholeness. Not everyone will understand.

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