Ok, so you’re all thinking thats a really lame way to get me to read your blog!!!!
John 5, v 1 – 14
This is one of the readings that Joyce Meyer uses, showing how we sometimes wallow in self pity. After all the guy had had 38 years to organize someone to help him into the pool. She so ably speaks in the whining voice of helplessness. I think Jesus also had a twinkle in his eye, because this was another Sabbath healing and all through the gospels he seems to do as many as possible just to annoy the Jewish establishment!
This one of the passages where you have to read carefully, to understand why Jesus seems so unfair in rebuking him and telling him not to sin. This was maybe because Jews of the time equated illness with sinning, so this would have made sense to this bloke (see following blog!) I guess also that the man was so excitied and overwhlemed that he could get up, he just didn’t see Jesus clearly or see him go. When he spoke to the Jews, he is honest, he doesn’t lie becasue he genuinely didn’t grasp who and what had happened. How often do we have something happen in our lives as a result of prayer or a blessing and are so caught up in it, we don’t realise where it came from and we forget to be thankfull for it? But our God is a God of second chances as the bloke went back and explained who it was, and we must think he trotted off to the happy ever after. I often wonder of the stories of the people who are healed in the Bible, what happened in their new lives after Jesus had gone.
Was Jesus saying sin would make the illness come back again? Andrew Wommack so preaches, when we are healed, it may try to return if we wobble and doubt a little and we have to rebuke illness, taking the authority given us when we became Christians, the power of the living Christ within us –as in moving the mountain! So in a way, maybe he was saying turn away from the sin of self pity and self absorbtion, you don’t have grounds for it anymore, stay healed as the opposite to self pity is self respect, leaving no room for sin in this area. This guy must have been so full of joy! (all this is my interpretation).
One of the things that also worries me is why didn’t Jesus heal all of the people at the Pool? On reflecting, I’ve come up with several answers. I know that Luke talks a lot about healing the whole crowd’s illnesses, John seems to look a bit more at the individual cases. Most of the people in the mass healings had made a step towards Jesus, even a little step of a fragile belief. All the people here were fixed on the healing coming from the water. Jesus had to get this guy’s attention by speaking to him, then despite the complete self pity and even doubt (in my mind) whether he was really looking for healing because he doesnt answer in the affirmative either, Jesus healed him. Of course, he may have been desperate for healing, the words here only have the nuance that the Spirit gives us as we read. So this shows the power of Jesus, even when we are doubting, mired in our pity, Jesus can heal, we just need to turn our full attention on him. Easy to say this though isnt’ it??!!
From the New International Version
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.