After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.
But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. John 5:1-18
We have spent the last few days in pool mode. Between watching amazing swimming during the Olympics and teaching our granddaughter Lilly to swim in the pool, there has been so much moving water. I watched as Simone Manuel became the first ever African American woman to take gold in swimming. An historic and wondrous event. She sweetly talked about being grateful for all the people that helped her along the way. And we have watch Lilly wanting to be in the water morning noon and night. She has to go with an adult, she needs helps as all of us did at one time.
Jesus came across a man who could not get into the pool for healing. He had no one to help him, or so he thought. Most of the people around him were concerned with themselves or their loved one. Jesus came to bring him healing, a healing hand in dark times. The religious leaders didn't like it but Jesus healed him anyway. Extending a hand in love and healing cannot take a time out or time off. It's what God is doing every moment and what we are invited to do.Love others and help others. It's that simple, all the time and every day.
Today I ask God to help me be aware of the needs of others. May we lend a helping hand, despite our own challenges, helping change a life by our loving.