While reading through this chapter and looking at commentaries, something has been strong on my heart. I don’t expect it to go over well, this is what I see when I read this chapter…
The pool of Bethesda, was believed to be stirred by Angels on occassion, and then the first one to enter the water was healed. SO this place has many invalid/disabled people lying around it waiting for this to happen and by chance be able to get into the waters. Not an likely thing to happen if you can not move. I’ve wondered why this man was selected by Jesus to speak to, and then I am always amazed at the fact that Jesus asks..”Do you want to be well/healed?” Does this imply that some don’t want healing, or does HE want to hear us speak it? It may make the answer more personal than a mere assumption. (Many ways to look at it. ) It is also the Sabbath. Are you amazed that the Jews who confronted this healed man, did not rejoice in the healing? Its not like this happens everyday, and surely one could wait one more day.
Because of healing a man on the Sabbath and telling him to pick up his pallet/bed…the Jews have a heartburn about it. Confrontation with Jesus…Jesus reveals HIS place as God the Son, and this doesn’t go over well, now they have one more thing to add to why they hate HIm…this appears blasphemous to them. Jesus speaks of resurrection day, and judgement, and that HE will be doing the judgement of the living and the dead. Also, if one doesn’t honor the Son, the love of God is not in them…can you imagine hearing that? Would you and I have been receptive to this?
Today I have a different view of these Jewish teachers/leaders. The could not understand, and they could not believe, and they could not see truth. We are sometimes quick to judge them, and we are just like them. We dig at times in the word and continue to dig until we find something that may be used to enforce our stanse or belief system. These men were spiritually blinded. This is not even about them.. Jesus had to take the road to the cross, if they had believed, it would not have happened. Thus we would all be condemned to hell. Why then would Jesus go to such great extents to reveal who HE is, and how it all works with the Father, when they were not going to get it? May I just offer this….For you, for me, to read on this day, and see HIM, who HE is, what HE has gone through as a Man, with mans limitations, did HE feel their reject? Did HE experience speaking truth only to be hated for it? Then HE well understands us and what we are up against as followers. HE healed a lame man of 38 years…the man is walking and strong enough to carry his bed roll…totally over looked…
This section actually steps on toes pretty hard…It reminds me of arguments I have heard in interpretation of the Word, as if only Calvin, or only Matthew Henry, or Scofield have a word. I do esteem them..but I must not take their word over the Word or testimony of Jesus. Sometimes doctrines are self serving and praise themselves, and force that thinking on someone else…and few times in those arguments do I hear, lets just look at what Jesus really said, and lets just ask HIM for understanding and application. I think this is what Jesus is talking about to the Jews…you will believe John (baptist), or Moses, and they are all talking about ME, but you don’t believe Me. Praying that I do not fall into that trap. But believing that all happened as it did sooo that HE would say these things, and all the while knowing I would sit here and ponder it, take it to heart, and look for a way to apply it.
Just my simple thoughts, don’t forget to visit the rest of the study group through out this week…they are an amazing group , and I am always enlightened and encouraged as I read thier thoughts and findings. Go here and check out our line up for the week, and let Carl know if you would like to join the group.