Read John 5.1-18

                After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.  In these lay many invalids–blind, lame, and paralyzed.   One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”
                 Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”  At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
                Now that day was a sabbath.  So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”  But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'”  They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”  Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.
                 Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”  The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.  Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”  For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.


From Rev. Jamie Gump,

Madison Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Huntington

                Oh, to point fingers and poke fun at the ridiculous griping and complaining we see here.  I mean, grumbling about healing on the Sabbath?  It’d be easiest to just judge those who are judging, and ignore any other message in this passage, like the one in Jesus’ exchange with the ill man. 

                He asks the man, “Do you want to be made well?”  Seems that should go without saying.  But no!  You have to want what Jesus offers.  And do you?  Want to be well?  To be holy and righteous?  To be more loving, more caring, more just, more ethical?  Do you really want it?  Really?  Good, but that’s not all.  Jesus says to the man, “Take up your mat and walk.” 

                If you want it, then you also have to do something about it.  Same goes for you and me. 

We want to be made whole, O God.

Give us the grace of wisdom to receive your healing and go.