Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Even on the Sabbath
5 1-6 Soon, another Feast came around, and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there was a pool called Bethesda with five alcoves in Hebrew. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
7 The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”
8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
9-10 That day happened to be the Sabbath. So the Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.”
11 But he told them, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.'”
12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.
14 A little later, Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.” -John 5:1-14 The Message.
Here is another miracle from Jesus. We learned that he healed the government official’s son. Here is the story of this miracle. Jesus made his way up to Jerusalem for the Jewish festivals. There are requirements for all Jewish males to come to Jerusalem for three reasons.
- The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
- The Festival of Weeks, also known as Pentecost.
- The Festival of Tabernacles.
Near the Sheep Gate, there is a pool which in Aramaic is called Bethesda. It is surrounded by five covered colonnades. There are disabled people, the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed there. There is one person that’s been there for thirty-eight years. Jesus came to the man who is ill and asked him one question. “Do you want to get well?” The man responded by saying that no one helps him get to the pool, but someone is already in when he tries. Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” That man was cured. He did as Jesus said and picked up his mat, and walked. After thirty-eight years of struggles, his life seems like it is hopeless. Attempt after attempt, he gets beat to the pool. No matter where your life is at right now, there is always hope. God can always be there for your needs. He can help with your hardship. God showed us this with the paralyzed man. There are a lot of people who ministered to the hurt because they overcome their pain.
The day that the miracle happened was the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders said to the man that it is a Sabbath day and that the law forbids you to carry your mat. The healed man replied,” the man who made me well said to me, pick up your mat and walk.” The Jewish leaders had no idea who he was talking about. So they asked him who it was and the man had no idea who he was. Jesus was gone and had slipped through the crowd. So later on in the day, Jesus found him and told him, ” you are well again. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.
When the man was healed by Jesus, the greater need he had was his sins to be forgiven. The physical side of him is incredible, but the spiritual side needed some healing. He had to turn back to God so he can forgive him for his sins. Although the man was healed on the Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders are concerned about him carrying his mat and the rules instead of looking at how he is healed. The miracle was not paid attention to because they are not interested in what Jesus did. So often, we are caught up with structure when we forget to praise for the small and the big things in life. Take a moment to thank God for those miracles regardless of what they are. You have to pick if you are about God-made laws or man-made ones.
Father, thank you for the laws you made for us. Thank you for the miracles we can celebrate and for reminding us of forgiveness and humbleness when these are performed. Allow us to remember these things in repetition. In Jesus’ name. Amen!