This is our God, who heals a man who has been sick from before He was born and who, guided by the Holy Spirit, heals on the sabbath! God loves to play with our little rules and regulations. The Jews had taken the Sabbath and bound it up with so many laws-thousands of them, arguing over things like whether someone could put their false teeth in or strap on an artificial leg-that they stopped this man because he was carrying his mat. They weren't concerned that he had been healed, just that he was carrying his mat! So, somehow this man got to the pool of Bethesda each day, helped by others presumably, but had no one with him to get him in when the pool stirred. He was utterly helpless. we can assume that he must have seen the water stir and people claim to get better when they plunged in, so there was still this tiny bit of hope within him. Jesus didn't tell him off for believing in superstitions, He recognised the deep despair of this man who only wanted to be well. He approaches the man and asks him if he wants to get better. That may appear to be an ignorant, almost hurtful question, but perhaps this man had got used to this life of dependence on others, perhaps in his heart he was not wanting to be responsible for earning a living. Although the man cannot see how he might get better, he demonstrates to Jesus a willingness and so He asks him to do the impossible. The man's legs are strengthened as he stands! We could reasonably say that the man shows faith by responding to Jesus' command. Jesus warns him not to take the healing for granted, that his life should now be one of gratitude and joy. It cost Jesus to bring healing to this man (see Luke 8 v 46) and this was an opportunity for him to change his attitude. We can see Paul warning against a similar attitude in Galatians 5 v 13. Are you feeling despair about something in your life which you cannot be free of? It is often those in utter hopelessness whom Jesus takes and brings healing-of body, mind, spirit, past issues, relationship problems. Bring it all to Jesus, my friend!
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