In our Gospel today, Jesus heals a man who cannot walk. Like this past Sunday’s story of the man born blind, the miracle takes place on the Sabbath, leading the Jewish leaders to persecute Jesus for not following the Law. The circumstances around the miraculous healing are worthy of our personal reflection.
The crippled man has been trying to get into the healing waters of the Pool of Bethesda for 38 years. Now 38 years is significant, not just because it shows that the man has been ill for a long time, but because it recalls the 38 years that Moses and the Israelites spent in the desert. Everyone remembers the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land as taking forty years. The Israelites arrived in the land of Canaan (the promised land) after two years of travel but discovered that Canaan was occupied. They did not believe that God would give them the power to conquer the Canaanites. They did not trust God. So, they were condemned to spend an additional 38 years in the desert, before they could return and trust God enough to enter the Promised Land. How often are we like the Israelites and the crippled man, and lack the trust in God to follow through and do what He teaches and asks of us? We try to be healed spiritually but only rely on our own effort and ability. When we give God our complete trust, miracles happen.
Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to be healed?” The man responds by telling Jesus all the reasons he was unable to be healed. How often do we blame the circumstances of our life for our personal brokenness? In most cases, it is our spiritual brokenness that leads mental, emotional, and even physical brokenness. How often do we feel powerless to overcome our spiritual, mental and emotional brokenness? Continuing to rely on our own strength and ability will make things worse.
Trust that God will help you conquer your brokenness! Even if you think you can’t do it, that’s fine. That’s precisely what God may be telling you. You can’t. BUT GOD CAN! Take whatever is on your heart to prayer and beg the Lord to help you. Ask Him! That’s what He wants! Beg him to free you from your personal time in the desert. You could be standing now at the threshold of change in your life, of doing God’s will, but God is the only one Who has the power to get you there. Don’t try to do it on your own or you’ll be forever stuck in the desert. Now is the time to hand it over to God, and say, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Is there anything holding you back from the Lord's healing power and transforming grace that can set you free to live in joy and peace with God?