Tuesday, January 7, 2014
God's gonna trouble the waters
Good evening friends,
Today's reading starts an interesting story in John's Gospel that will include some pretty harsh sounding words about judgment. One of the things I love about John's Gospel is that he has several extended stories, and this is one of them. Context is always important when we want to understand a passage. In this case, if we start at the beginning of the story we'll see the story in a different and more complete way. Apparently the pool Jesus appears at in this story was known for healing, but the healing was related to the water being stirred up. In this case, the man in question can't get in the water quickly enough to be healed. So not only is he affected by his disability, he also has the constant sense of being left alone by others.
After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
6When 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?”7The 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.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.