Gospel: John 5:1-16*
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now, by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there is a pool (called Bethzatha in Hebrew) surrounded by five galleries. In these galleries lay a multitude of sick people: blind, lame and paralyzed. (…) There was a man who had been sick for thirtyeight years. Jesus saw him, and because he knew how long this man had been lying there, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?“ And the sick man answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; so while I am still on my way, another steps down before me.“
Jesus then said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk!“ And at once the man was healed, and he took up his mat and walked.
Now that day happened to be the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had just been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and the Law doesn’t allow you to carry your mat.“ He answered them, “The one who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk!’“ They asked him, “Who is the one who said to you: Take up your mat and walk?“ But the sick man had no idea who it was who had cured him, for Jesus had slipped away among the crowd that filled the place.
Afterwards Jesus met him in the temple court and told him, “Now you are well; don’t sin again, lest something worse happen to you.“ And the man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. So the Jews persecuted Jesus because he performed healings like that on the Sabbath.
“Do you want to be healed?“
Aside from preaching, healing is important to Jesus. When he passes by a sick man who cannot help himself plunge into the pool when the water is stirred, he asks if he wants to be healed, the man answers “Yes.” Jesus does something unexpected. Jesus commands him instead to rise and take his mat and go home.
We might think that healing can be done only by Jesus who has extraordinary powers or some people who have a gift of healing. We, too, as Christians, can heal, if only we can make ourselves available to the sick. We can heal the brokenhearted by listening to their problems or stories. We can bring those with diseases to the clinic and pay their bills.
What Jesus actually asks is, “Do you want to be made well (whole, healthy, in Greek hygies)?” It has been affirmed even in the social media that the best way to help a sick person suffering from addiction, depression or loneliness is to stay in a supportive community. A sustained healthy relationship in a family or a community can do more than prescribed medicines. One can become sick when he has no joy in his heart.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019