Text: John 5:1-15
Focus on listening to the Lord and being grateful for His provision
Ask the Lord to help and make His presence known to all those with disability
The text points us to the third of seven miracles in John’s gospel-the healing of the paralytic at the pools of Bethesda. Grace and repentance are the cornerstones of this story. This was an old man, among probably hundreds of people at the pools, who had suffered for 38 years. He hoped each day to be healed by the waters, but was unable to get into the pools with no one to help him.
Jesus sees him and asks, “Do you want to get well?” The man doesn’t answer, but does as Jesus commands and gets up, picks up his mat and walks. This miracle is instantaneous yet the man doesn’t thank Jesus, he is so focused on what has happened to him. Jesus disappears into the crowd.
The Jewish leaders are more focused on the law than the miracle! They accuse the man of ‘working’ on the Sabbath (by carrying his mat) and he actually blames the Healer. When later Jesus sees the man at the temple courts, He tells him to stop sinning or suffer something worse; Jesus knew that this man was leading a sinful life and that without repenting and turning from his sins, he would suffer eternally. The apparently unrepentant man then reports back to the leaders that it was Jesus who healed him.
The grace of God can’t be separated from our need for repentance. Sin shall not have dominion over us because we are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). We all know that we cannot be perfect as Christ was - there is no merit on our part for God’s grace - but we can repent and ask forgiveness, starting each day anew by listening to God and keeping our focus on Him.
~ Barb Tippin,
Lay Minister of Mutual Care