January 4th – Say What You Mean



In John’s Gospel Chapter 5, there is an account of a visit Jesus made to a place which was a forerunner of hospitals.It was seen as a place for medical treatment no matter how primitive and was called Bethesda, which had five alcoves packed with people who were blind, crippled, paralysed and, like lottery ticket holders, they waited to see if their number came up! Every now and then the spring water bubbled up and since they believed the water disturbance was caused by an angel, they thought that the first one in after that would be made well.
Jesus of Nazareth did not enter and clap hands and say “Everybody up. You are all better.” He went to just one crippled man and asked “Do you want to get well?” What an apparently silly question. Of course he did.That’s why he was there. He just couldn’t even get into the water ahead of everyone else. Notice – Jesus didn’t argue about their understanding of healing. He didn’t explain that the water bubbles were not an angel and that all their hopes were based on an ignorant misunderstanding. He cut across all our explanations, all our evasions, with “Do you want to be healed?” Never mind your views about what makes it happen. “Do you want to get well?” The man’s answer was interrupted by the command: “Just get up, roll up your bed roll and walk away”.
Of the many lessons one can see in this encounter,take just one for today, don’t limit God by our human protests … ‘I cannot see how it could be done, it’s incurable’. He is asking you now – whatever your need … “Do you really want to be changed and made whole?”.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”.
“Sir”, the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured: he picked up his mat and walked. John 5: 6-9
A prayer: Father, the world is full of sick people, and today I pray for those I know, whose sickness finds no cure.Lord God, put your hand on them even as I pray, and let them want to be as you want them to be.
Now read Luke 4: 16-22

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