Today’s Author: Kent Olson

John 5:1-18

The second part of Sunday’s reading seems to be a simple story, but I see so many points, questions. 

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

The story is of the man who had lain by the pool waiting for the water to be stirred and then striving to be the first in the water in order to be healed. He has not been able to move quick enough to be the first. 

Jesus meets him and says, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” He does; he is healed. Then he is told that it is not lawful to carry a mat on the sabbath. The man says his healer told him to pick up his mat. The man was probably so elated at being healed that he was not thinking of the law. The Jews became upset with Jesus because “he was doing such things on the sabbath” AND calling God his own father. “Outrageous!” they might be thinking.

I wonder whether other people had been healed if they got to the water first. We don’t hear their stories. Is there a “track record” of healing that gives people hope and keeps them waiting by the pool? What brought Jesus to the pool? Was he just walking by on his way to another place or event, or did he go there on purpose? 

We don’t need answers to these questions to understand or hear the miracle he performs. Jesus heals a person who has been sick a long time by just saying a few words. John does not even have Jesus saying, “You are healed.” 

Sometimes we can be amazed at what can happen with the power of God and Jesus. Even simple actions. A new medication, a new prosthetic limb, a transplanted organ…a new view on life. These medical wonders may also be viewed as the result of human research and knowledge but those can be seen also as the gifts of God for humans struggling in a broken world full of disease and accidents.

While we pray for healing and have healing services, we know that disease is not always healed, that accidents can afflict people for the rest of their lives. While we are disappointed if we and ours are not recipients of miracles and cures in our earthly life, we know that we are God’s and God gives us eternal life. 

Prayer: God, we thank you for the miracles and cures that you do perform for us and others in the world. We thank you for being with us and walking with us. We thank you for the knowledge that you have claimed us and have given us eternal life. Amen.

Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, contact Pastor Peter.