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Know God in a Year #56 Disappointment Meets Compassion

Jesus has come to Jerusalem for a special Sabbath; walking alone in meditation, he comes to Bethesda. Five porches were built around a pool for protection of the sick who flocked here because of superstition: In certain seasons the water was agitated by an angel–as it was believed–and the first person to enter was healed. (A dark angel mocking them? Many were trampled trying to get in–it was surely not God’s idea.)

Looking around him, Jesus longs to heal every person, but he knows doing that on the Sabbath would cause such hatred that his life and ministry would be shortened.

One man however, captures his heart. His suffering is the result of his own bad behavior and is considered God’s judgment. He has no friends or family and for 38 years has been a cripple. A kind-hearted person leaves him at the pool each day, but someone stronger always enters before him. Disappointment is stealing his remaining strength.

He is lying on a rug at the edge of the water, when a kind face bends over him.

“Would you like to be well?” Jesus asks.

Hope springs up and then 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 he did!

John 5:1-8

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