Day 9 – (March 15, 2019)
2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep
To see waiting rooms full of sick people can be heart-wrenching. We long for someone to care for them and to do so quickly. The opening scene in John 5 tells the sorry story of many invalids – blind, lame and paralyzed gathered around a pool in Jerusalem.
Archaeological research suggests that it is a complex of pools with five porticos known as Bethzatha, located today near St. Anne’s Church in the Arab quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. The pool was thought to have miraculous powers.
On the day Jesus was there, John tells us there was a man who had been lame or paralyzed for thirty-eight years. Seeing the man and knowing his plight, Jesus asked a simple question: “Do you want to be made well?” But the man’s response was ambivalent: “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up…” If he was healed he would lose the support and companionship he enjoyed and on which he had come to depend. He’d have to make a new start in life…he’d have to get a job!
Without discussing whether the pool had healing powers or not, Jesus took the initiative and, at a word, cured him. The bed that had carried the man, could now be carried by the man.
The man’s indefinite response reflects the way we sometimes respond to Jesus. He asks us, ‘Do you really want to be changed?’ Often we don’t want him to intrude on our lifestyle. Before his conversion, Augustine who became the Bishop of Hippo in North Africa said: “Lord, grant me chastity and continence, but not yet”. The reality is, if we genuinely turn to Jesus Christ and accept the new life he has initiated and now offers us, we experience a life that we never want to lose.
Grant us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right, so that we who cannot do anything that is good without you, may in your strength be able to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Trinity 9 – adapted)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 5:1-18
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