Today’s Bible reading
Read John 5:1-15
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
More thoughts for meditation
The way of Jesus moves toward water. We are destined to swim in an ocean of grace, now and forever.
That eternity begins like a drip, drip, drip. We get baptized in it and take on our spiritual identity. We swim in the pool and become a thirst quencher, a water giver and a port builder. We eventually become one with the water—fully at home, fully deployed. Jesus says, “The water I give you will become a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Our destination is an ocean of grace. But we start in a spiritual desert. Incrementally, we understand who we are and what we should do as living water changes our environment bit by bit. We adapt to the increasing drips that become pools, that become waterways that become an ocean.
The story of the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda represents our process too. He had very little idea of what getting into the water might mean. He had a very small concept of “water.” But Jesus met him in his condition and lifted him up into His “pool.” Jesus really stirred things up.
So it is a very good question for the disabled man: “Do you want to be well?” It is a challenge to be well! Jesus has water beyond what we can imagine—our imaginations are often a bit invalid. We can stay dry and act like we are afraid of water or unable to get to any, or we can learn to swim like the great spiritual whales we are meant to be, singing for joy in the depths.
As soon as the man is healed by Jesus, his new, upturned life begins to turn others upside down. Do you want to be well and do you want to be a well? It is a challenge to be a well! If you are down the road on the way of Jesus, the choices do not necessarily get easier. If you are young, now is the time to collect every drop of grace and let it nourish your capacity to share your cup of cold water.
Suggestions for action
Have you been waiting a long time? Does it seem like you should have been in stirred-up water before now and stirred up more than you are? If anything, today’s reading tells us that Jesus is likely to show up in his own time, and it really does not matter how long we have been waiting, since we are talking about water that is eternal.
Maybe you are waiting on something you don’t understand and it is really right in front of you! What is pooled up in you already? What have you been given to give? Do you dare to write down what your heart wants Jesus to activate? Do you want to be well and to be a well?