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No question

by davesandel on March 20th, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

John 5:2-6

At the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.  One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?”

I can be patient with pain sometimes.  And I can ignore irritants, physical or emotional, for awhile, sometimes.  That’s on the good days.  On the bad days, I literally twist and turn to get away.  Even the tiniest itch on the edge of my finger can make me crazy. I can’t even imagine a thirty-eight year illness.

Does this man have any idea what Jesus means when he asks, “Do you want to be well?”  He lives at Bethesda because there is nowhere else to go for a man in his condition.  But he no longer looks at the healing water with hope.  Nor does he expect anything from Jesus.

Jesus challenges him.  “Rise, take up your bed, walk.”  There is no way the man can do that with his atrophied muscles.  But he does it.  Jesus’ authority cuts through his glaze of lethargy and self pity.  His words shake the sleepy evil out-his-soul.  Jesus’ question wakes this man up, and Jesus’ command rocks his world and restores his soul.

Alone and listless, I sometimes stop listening for Jesus’ footsteps.  He is not coming here.  He has not been here in a long while.  When I am suddenly, utterly proven wrong, when he is in my face asking me the most intimate question of all, offering all he has to me, what will I say?  And what will Jesus do?

Lord, your mercy fills our lives with fresh air, ripe grapes, warm bread and living water. Your touch and your words relieve our pain, and all our bruises are borne away on white, holy doves.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation.







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