HOST: Michael Whitworth
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 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 going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ ” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.
It has been said that, "Jesus never left anyone where they were." The meaning of this short little statement is that, such was Jesus' compassion, wisdom, power, and influence, that anyone who encountered Him was changed by Him in some way. In this text, we meet a man who had suffered from an infirmity (probably some form of paralysis or lameness) for 38 years. Jesus' healing of this man certainly changed his physical life, but that is not the change I want to focus on. One of the unique things about this healing is that it was not prompted or made possible by the faith of the healed. This man did not even know Jesus' name and was looking for some magical cure from the pool for his healing. Nothing is said about faith, but Jesus healed him. But how did this interaction with Jesus change the faithless man? Notice Jesus' statement to him: "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." While Jesus often healed because of an existing faith, in this case, it seems that He healed in order to produce faith. He expected a change to take place in the spiritual life of this man to whom He granted physical healing. As always, Jesus was focused on the all-important spiritual life. What a great lesson for us!
How have you been changed by Jesus?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!