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John’s Gospel post 32 – Stirring

October 24, 2013

“In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away” – Peter Gabriel – Washing of the water (from the album Us)

John 5: 1 – 15

Enough of Galilee for now. Time for Jesus to get on his travels again. It’s festival time in Jerusalem. And so Jesus sets off. Is he going to cause trouble again?

The scene near Jerusalem is a pool. It was the place to be. For the blind, the lame and the paralysed that is.

Jesus steps in. This could be good. Maybe he’s going to do a mass healing. Think of the publicity!

The story was that the water had healing properties, and that every so often an angel would stir the waters and first one in got healed. Bit of a lottery…

But now here was the one who could heal them all. One man had no chance of getting there first. he was paralysed. How could he ever be first in. 38 years he had suffered from his condition.

Jesus was asking around, and his enquiries led him to this man. We already know he could heal everyone with a command, but like Nicodemus, like the Samaritan woman yet again he homes in on an individual. Just like Jesus.

In amongst all the sick people he picks out maybe the guy who has been sick for the longest and asks an interesting question.

“Do you want to get well?”

Of course he wanted to get well. Why else was he there? But maybe even in his disability the man had got used to his way of life, his visits to the pool? To get well – after all this time – would make for a big change.

To his mind, there was only one way to get better. “I’ve got no one to throw me in at the right time…”

“Get up” – Man’s heart starts beating in his throat.

He gets up.

“Take your bed home”. Life transformed in an instant.

No magic spells, no laying on of hands, nothing you’d call a prayer. Just a command – two words – and it was done. Now that is power!

This was better than all the rumours about the healing powers of the waters.

One man is healed. Nothing to suggest that anyone else in the poolside gathering got better.

But Jesus had made a splash. Notice was taken. Hallelujah!

Oh but hang on, Jesus has made a mistake. He’s forgotten what day it is. It’s the Sabbath day – the day of rest. So a man carrying a mat causes anger among the Jewish leaders. To say the least these people had a very broad view of what constituted work. Carrying your air bed was work in their crazy eyes.

“Who told you to walk? Who told you to work?”

The man didn’t even know who Jesus was. he hadn’t even introduced himself. He’d slipped away!

Jesus met the man later and told him to stop sinning or something worse could happen. People have too often been ready to announce that illness = punishment for sin. Jesus does not support that but there seems to have been some causative link for this man.

It was vital though for this man, that he changed his ways. The healing was massive but there was something deeper required.

Same for all of us. Jesus can transform us. For some there is healing. For some there is not, but there can always be a changed life – deep down.

What do you need? If Jesus were to ask you, what do you want?

By the way – I can hear trouble brewing…

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From → Christianity

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