The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.
Today’s Gospel: John 5:1-18
This is perhaps one of my favorite passages in the New Testament! Not solely because of the miracle transformation of an apparent disheartening circumstance, but because of the opportunity that is presented when you trust in Jesus. How often have you prayed for a change to a particular challenge, circumstance, issue or condition in your life? Many of us know the frustration of waiting for what is considered a “long” time for change to come. While we take note of the physical conditions that are within this text, many of us are often afflicted with a spiritual paralysis that keeps us suffering under an ailment for far too long. As a result, we are drawn to look for a cure in all the wrong places and cope by keeping company that makes us complacent with our condition.
This unnamed man had been dealing with his malady for thirty-eight years. We do not have the advantage of knowing the cause of his current condition or his age but we see that he is gathering with others around the pool of Beth-zatha. They are waiting in a community for a cure that will only be available to one and not all. Jesus stops by the pool and from that moment everything changes. He asks this man,” Do you want to be made well?” The door of opportunity is opened and an invitation to embrace a new reality. Jesus tells him “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” After a moment of hesitation, self- searching and excuse making, the man joins in the process of his healing by making a decision to trust in Jesus! By himself he could do nothing but with his faith in Jesus he is able to do what most concluded was impossible. What step do we each need to take today as we set our faith in Jesus?
Rising above every other need, O heavenly Father, is our great need for Thee. More than our bodies need food, and drink, and clothing, and shelter, do our souls need to feast and find refreshment upon Thee, and to feel Thy righteousness wrapped around us as our garment, and to find shelter and peace for our souls in the refuge of eternity, Thou great Rock of Ages.
Ralph Mark Gilbert – “Our Need For Thee”