In this weekend's Gospel reading
Jesus encounters a man who has just missed healing for nearly four decades. John's Gospel tells us:
Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids-- blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me." Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.The Rev. Dr. Homer Henderson
has preached on this saying:
Who is he? He's a real bum, that's who he is! He had no gratitude, no faith, no humility, no guts. He didn't deserve to be healed. He didn't deserve anything. This is the one Jesus healed...Jesus healed this man not because of who the man was, not because of who the person was, but because of who Jesus was. The Rev. John Jewell has noted
of this passage:
In this miracle story, there is no rejoicing and no thanksgiving to God. The crowds are not amazed with the goodness of God, but instead, people commit themselves to eliminating Jesus from their midst.
There are however, some very important lessons to be learned from this strangest of miracle stories.
- Unawareness of miracles—it got by the Jews—we miss miracle all the time because we, like them, are caught up in the present circumstances
- Though we are too often unaware of God—God is very much aware of us.
- The goodness of God is not dependent upon the reciprocal goodness of us! i.e. God is good whether we are good or not—God is not dependent or co-dependent!
Labels: healing, miracles