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Posts Tagged ‘the disabled man at the pool in Jerusalem’

At times, I confess I can be a bit slow to spring into action—although that depends on the task at hand, of course! If it’s something boring like housework or arduous like weeding, I can be very slow. I can think of all manner of things I simply have to do instead. Even if it’s writing, which I love, I can procrastinate, especially when starting a new and somewhat overwhelming project. So perhaps it was for this reason that two different events from John’s Gospel caught my attention recently.

The first one had to do with the official from Capernaum who travels to Cana to beg Jesus to come and heal his son who is close to death (4:46-54). When this man makes his request, Jesus seems to rebuke him or at least try to make a point with him (v 48):

Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

Now, just like this man, I think I would have been looking for a different response. I would not have wanted Jesus to stand there making a point but instead decide to head down to Capernaum pronto! The official continues to stick to his guns—until Jesus calmly tells him, ‘You may go. Your son will live.

At that point, if I had been this boy’s father, I suspect I would have argued with Jesus. I would have wanted what I wanted. But what does this man do? He simply takes Jesus at his word and departs! He does what Jesus says—even in this life and death situation and even before he fully understands who Jesus is.

It’s a different story, however, after the man’s servants meet him on his way home and tell him his son is now well. Then he discovers the fever left at the exact time when Jesus had told him his son would live—and he and his entire household believe (v 53).

The second event that challenged my own faith was the healing of the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years (5:1-15). Jesus asks him a rather strange question first off—“Do you want to get well?” The invalid seems to be a little indirect in his answer which to me has some slight overtones of the sort of comment I probably would have made: ‘Of course I want to get well! Why do you think I’ve persevered lying here all these years near this healing pool?’ But Jesus simply responds: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

And that’s what happens. The man is cured then and there, picks up his mat and walks! He does exactly what Jesus tells him to do—and all this when he has no idea who Jesus is (v 13)! Later, Jesus finds him at the temple and challenges him further, yet even then we are not told if the healed man believes in him.

So where does that leave those of us, like me, who have believed in Jesus for many years and who have experienced his love, his kindness, his encouragement, even his healing firsthand? I, for one, know it makes me much more determined to listen well to Jesus and to spring into action, next time he tells me to act or speak in a certain way.

How about you?

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