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#56 Correcting Our Picture of God

Jesus has come to Jerusalem for a special Sabbath; walking alone in meditation, he comes to Bethesda. Five porches were built around this pool for protection of the sick who flocked here because of superstition.

In certain seasons the water was agitated, it was believed by an angel, and the first person to enter was healed. (A dark angel? Many were trampled trying to get in–surely not an event designed by God. Was this demonic “healing” a dark-side game to give a twisted picture of God?)

Looking around him, Jesus longs to heal every person in the place, but he knows doing so on the Sabbath would cause such hatred that his life and ministry would be shortened. One man’s suffering, however, captures his heart.

The man’s misery is the result of his own bad choices, and is considered God’s judgment on him. He has no friends or family and for 38 years has been a cripple. Some kind-hearted person gets him to the pool, but another stronger sufferer always enters before him. Disappointment is stealing what strength he has.

He is lying on a rug at the edge of the water, when the kindest face he’s ever seen bends over him,

“Do you want to be well?” Jesus asks.

Hope springs up and then as quickly dies, “Sir, I have no one to help, so someone always reaches the water before me.”

“Get up, pick up your bed and walk,” says Jesus.

And without protest or hesitation, he does!

John 5:1-9

 

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