Karen and I hope that your week is going well. How are you doing with your lesson? Have you run into any questions that have puzzled you? Remember, even if you are unable to answer all of the questions, we still want to see you next Tuesday. Someone in the class will have the answer to that puzzle, even if you couldn’t put all of the pieces together.
In this lesson we read of Jesus healing a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. A slow reading of the story – and a little imagination as well – can have us seeing and smelling and hearing all the things that would have assailed that poor man for so long. As our commentary tells us, the pool of Bethzatha was near the Sheep Gate, where the animals to be slaughtered in the Temple were brought into the city. Each day for all of those 38 years the paralyzed man might have prayed for healing, and each day his prayer was not answered. But on one special day, Jesus, the very Lord of the Universe, comes through the Sheep Gate. He is the” Lamb of God”, the One who is destined to take away the sins of the world. On this particular day, known to the Lord from before time began, Jesus heals the paralyzed man. Does Jesus reach down with His hand and help the man up? Is the smile of Jesus and the joy in His eyes so appealing that the man complies when he is told to rise and take up his mat and walk? Those are all interesting questions to think about. Perhaps we can hear Jesus asking us: “Do you want to be healed?”. I find myself saying, “yes,Lord, please”. How about you?
Further on in Chapter 5 is a remark by Jesus about John the Baptist. “He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s.” John 5:35-36a. That statement really caught my attention. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were given a testimony that was entrusted to them alone. John the Baptist had the specific task of announcing that the time had arrived for the appearance of the Messiah and calling his listeners to repentance. John’s unique mission included pointing out Jesus as “the Lamb of God”.Perhaps like John the Baptist, we all have a testimony to deliver, a special one that is entrusted to each of us alone. Jesus saw John the Baptist as a burning and shining lamp. Does He see each of us as shining lights that point out the path of Life to others? What will it take for each of us to be that shining light? And when our lamp is at last extinguished, will we all hear those beautiful words from our loving Lord, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world“? I pray that it is so.
Enjoy the rest of your week. May God bless you abundantly.