Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. John 5:2-9
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to trust in something or someone new. Even though the definition of crazy is doing something over and over again that has proven to be destructive, we humans tend to gravitate towards the familiar, even when it's so hurtful and doesn't work. We like our familiar over stepping out in faith. We would rather lie by the pool for years, begging strangers to toss us in, only to be passed over by another. It's our neighborhood, our town, and we know our way around. Even dysfunction junction is someone's neighborhood.
Jesus finds a man who has been waiting for years to be healed. Healing always passes him by and yet he is determined to get help. He thinks one more time and his luck will change - someone will have mercy on him and put him in the pool first. Life has passed him by, compassion and kindness have eluded him, and yet he waits with hope and expectation. It's his only option, his only neighborhood. Jesus comes by and tells him to get up - he tells him to do the impossible. And yet there is enough faith and enough hope in this withered man than he takes the risk - gets up and walks away from all that has defined him and held him back. He is probably afraid but even more afraid of being stuck by the pool, second in line for the rest of his life. And so he follows Jesus and leaps into new life.
Today, I want to remember that the healing starts with one step into an uncharted world. And God provides healing and wholeness, if we are willing to get up and change our view. So I pray that we can all take that one step, the one that says we are afraid not to be well and not to be whole. Despite all the things that trap and hold us may we grab onto the lame man's lead and walk, following the gracious road of a loving God who desires our healing this day.