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.
Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working." John 5:1-17
Lots of people have trouble getting in the pool. Recently I began swimming again, an exercise I love and which is good for my back and my body. But finding the time to get there and then matching it up with their schedule can be a challenge. Time, work and people get in the way. All of us know our excuses too well when it comes to the healing and exercise we need.
Jesus finds a man waiting by the pool, never able to get in. He has no one to help him and life has dealt him some huge challenges. He needs help to get in and the crowd is anxious for their own and very selfish. Jesus offers him healing and tells him to take up his bed and walk. The religious authority is there and angry because the man was healed on the Sabbath, as of God is against our health and healing on the sabbath. God aches for us even on the sabbath day and is willing to heal us whenever we are ready to receive what we need. God is active, even when we perceive nothing and God is not bound by our earthy parameters and rules.
Today, I ask God to heal me and help me to get up and do the things necessary for today. Everyday presents challenges and limitations but may we bravely ask for what we need, knowing that God is working for us around the clock, not bound by our limitations or our fears. May we be ready in every moment to receive the help and healing we need from God today.