Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath

1Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.2Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.3Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.5One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.6When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

7“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

8Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,10so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.14But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”15Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

Here Jesus heals someone who apparently has not faith in him or even know who he is.  It reminds me of another verse somewhere in the Bible that goes “God sends rain on the fields of the just, and the unjust.”  Yet we need to be reminded that Jesus was merciful and kind to people who were not his friends.  As a matter of fact, wasn’t he kind and merciful to each of us in calling us to him when we didn’t really know him or love him?  And this man reports Jesus to the Jewish leaders which we will learn in the follow text causes Jesus a lot of trouble.  Jesus had to know that was going to happen, but he healed him anyway.

So what are we to learn?  We are to be kind and merciful, spreading the love of Jesus, not only to those we think will return our kindness, mercy and love, but to those we know will not.  It is easy to be friendly to our friends, but Jesus calls us to love our enemies.

Lord, give me your heart and mind so I can give your love and kindness and mercy to those who love me, and to those who do not.  *obbs*