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. Delma Parris, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Clarksburg

                When we focus on our sins and sinfulness we most likely think of sins of commission.  What have I done or am I doing wrong?  However, for me this passage raises the question about how often I fail to do what I should do.  Jesus saw a need and addressed it.  He had little regard for the criticism he was going to draw from his detractors. And, they were on standby, certainly watching him.  Often our sins of omission involve keeping quiet when we should speak up or not performing an act of kindness that could be misunderstood or draw criticism.  We are tuned to what the world thinks and not to what God expects of us in the way of justice and mercy.  Let us always be ready to do the right thing no matter what others say or do.

 

Dear Lord, may I have the courage of Jesus to go against the grain

when it comes to serving justice and being merciful.

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