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So Jesus is walking by the pool at Bethesda where there are a number of people with disabilities – people who are hoping for a miracle to happen so that they can be restored to health. He happens upon an invalid, stops, and asks the man a question, “Do you want to get well?”
Two things strike me about this passage.
1) The man does not answer Jesus’ question. It is a yes or no question but Jesus does not get a yes or no response. Instead, it seems to me, the man starts blaming the reason why he has not been healed on other people and the lack of help that he has been given. He sees other people always getting the breaks and has adopted a “woe is me” kind of attitude toward life. I see people like this all the time – they blame others for their problems, or expect the government to take care of them as if they are entitled to a better life. They whine when they see other people get all the breaks or worse, they turn to a life of crime and steal what they feel they deserve. This man was not at all deserving of what Jesus did for him.
2) So why this man? Why not the guy next to him that also needed healing? I don’t have an answer to that question. But I do know that I am a lot like the invalid. I too was in need of healing. I too was very undeserving. I too have a tendency to whine and want what others have. And yet God picked me. He poured out His grace and mercy and kindness upon me. He did for me what I could not do for myself. He restored my life and gave me a reason to live that goes beyond just having a leg to stand on. And for that I am very grateful.
“Father, I am very grateful that You chose me even though I was very undeserving. And I know You want to use me for Your purposes. Would You remind me daily that my life belongs to You and that it is only in You that I will find joy and contentment and hope for each new day.”
Next Week’s Passage: John 5:16-47