Day 13 – John 5:1-18

Sometimes we get so used to our crutches that we don’t really want to be healed. Jesus knew this flaw in the human heart. At the pool of Siloam, he meets a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. He asks him if he wants to be healed. This may sound like a strange question. Who does not want to be healed? But sometimes our handicaps become something we rely upon.

The pool of Siloam was revered as a holy place of healing, and the waters were considered more effective after they were disturbed. Jesus does not address any of this. He simply heals by his one command, instead of using a holy place or holy waters. He is again rejecting the idolatry of place in his ministry. He is the source of healing, not the water.

Jesus does not just heal the man but commands him to carry his bed. Jesus knows this will upset the Pharisees, who thought that carrying any burden on the Sabbath was a violation of God’s law. The Pharisees were obsessing over minor things, and failing to rejoice in the healing.

Jesus’ other command to the former invalid was to sin no more, with an implied threat. The man immediately tattles on Jesus, and the Pharisees increase their persecution. Jesus has violated their interpretation of the Sabbath. his miracles and his commands on the Sabbath are a claim that he is the right and proper interpreter of what the religion means, not the Pharisees. They understand this claim and hate him for it.

Question: Do you want to be healed? If Jesus offers you healing in a way that displeases others, will you still accept it?

Prayer: Lord, give me the spirit to accept healing. Give me the courage to stand up and walk when you tell me to, and carry the load you command, even if it makes others angry. Help me remember whom I want to please.