Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Healing at the Pool

Let's continue through the book of John through the eyes of one who has just been witnessed to, and been told to pick up their Bible and start reading the fourth gospel.

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?"

7 "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."

8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Here is another instance of Jesus commanding the elements, and the physical world. He was able to heal this man with a word. This should not have been too difficult a feat for the one who spoke and the Universe leapt into existance.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."

11 But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' "

12 So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Two things stick out to me here. Jesus was not so full of Law that he neglected to heal someone on the Sabbath. But, also, he was not so full of Grace that he let the man leave without telling him to stop sinning. Law and Grace go hand in hand. God is full of grace and love and mercy, but never ceases to be holy, just and perfect. By repenting and putting our trust in Jesus, we will understand the balance that must be kept by these two attributes.

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