Monday, August 8, 2016

John 5:1-15: Healing the Paralyzed Man at the Pool of Bethesda

Jesus went up to Jerusalem to attend an important feast
Alert to the poor and hurting, caring for the least.
There by the pool lay a multitude of sick and lame, and blind
Hoping an angel would come and stir the waters one more time.

The legend was that whoever could get into the water first
Would find himself completely healed, his ailments reversed.
There lay a crippled, hopeless man, lame for thirty-eight years
Silently suffering day after day awaiting the angel’s stir.

Jesus saw him lying there, observed his crippling condition,
Saw the agony in his eyes enduring his lame disposition.
Jesus said, “Do you wish to be well?” The cripple quickly replied,
“O yes, but when the water is stirred, I cannot get inside.”

I can imagine their conversation and his impassioned plea:
“I try hard to get to the pool, but I have no one to help me!
Day after day, month after month, year after year I try,
Some days I am so discouraged, I simply lay here and cry.”

Jesus, as always, full of compassion, let the poor man talk.
Then with a commanding voice, He said, “Stand, rise up and walk.”
Immediately the man felt renewed, power flowed throughout.
Without a thought he jumped up and gave a joyful shout.

He reached down and bent his knees and then picked up his bed.
For the first time in thirty-eight years he marched straight ahead.
Of course the story could not be complete without an ironic end.
He ran into some Pharisees his very first day on the mend.

What are doing, carrying the bed? It’s the Sabbath, they said.
(They walked by him every day and saw him practically dead).
Rather than rejoice aloud that he, once lame, was healed;
They felt the need to lecture him, their inner heart revealed.

Who is this man who healed you? What does He think He can do?
Today is the Sabbath in the land; He can’t be out healing you.”
Away they went in indignation accusing Him in their hearts,
For healing on the Sabbath day would not fit their doctrinal chart.

The man departed and went away to the temple on the mount.
Jesus saw him and said to him, “Make these new days count.
Sin no more, live for God, make righteousness your goal,
Lest sin come back, enslave you again, ravaging your soul.”

There’s more than one truth in this account. Let me summarize:
Loving people more than tradition is what will win the prize.
Trusting God, believing His Word, acting on what He said
Will bring a fruitful life on earth with the joys of heaven ahead.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

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