Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.
With Jesus It’s Always Personal

With Jesus It’s Always Personal

One day, when Jesus was in Jerusalem, he went to a pool near the Sheep Gate where there were a large number of sick, including those who were lame, blind and paralyzed.  Apparently, from time to time, an angel would go down into the pool and stir up the water; the first person who entered the water afterward was healed.

One man who had been sick for thirty eight years was laying beside the pool.  Jesus saw him and knew that he had been laying there day after day for a long time.  Jesus went up to him and asked him:

Do you want to be healed?  The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.’  At once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.  (John 5:6-9)

Little is revealed about the man in this story, but we do know a few things.  He was sick and couldn’t walk.  He wanted to be healthy.  He believed if he could get into the pool first after the angel troubled the water, he would be healed.  He had no one to help him get into the pool and couldn’t get there by himself.  He had laid down beside the pool day after day for a long time.  Presumably he had watched others enter pool and come out of the water healed.

What do we know or can we deduce about his character?  He was patient; he was certainly long suffering.  He had at least some faith.   He must have had some measure of hope, though you have to wonder how after so many disappointments.  The story reveals no hint of bitterness despite the fact that he has no one to help him, as he watched, time after time, others reach the water before him.  Apparently he was polite for he addressed the Lord as “Sir”.  He was obedient, because he did exactly what Jesus asked him to do and he did it promptly.

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What does this story reveal about Jesus?

Sometimes we go looking for him and other times, he comes looking for us.  It is always personal with Jesus; he encounters individuals not crowds.  He sees things in us we don’t see in ourselves.  He has his own reasons for doing what he does.  He doesn’t give up on us even if we are tempted to give up on ourselves.  He acts in his own time.  He rewards faith; he honors perseverance; he gives help when no one else can; and, his love never fails and it never runs out; it is always enough.

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