In Jerusalem, many sick people flock in the pool of Bethesda because they believe that its moving, bubbling water has curative powers. It is said that an angel comes down to stir it, and the first one into the water has the best chances of being healed. Jesus finds a paralyzed man and asks him whether he wishes to be healed. The man’s feelings of helplessness are expressed in his inability to say “yes.” All he thinks of is his difficulty in getting to the water when it is stirred because he has no one to help him. Jesus goes ahead and heals the sick man anyway. The Jews take offense that the cure is done on a sabbath. But for Jesus, any day is a good day to give life back to a man whose body has been devitalized for 38 years.
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these 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?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.
Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.