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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pastor Nelda’s Notes: Do you want to be made well?

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The man healed in this story is perhaps the least willing and the least grateful of all the people Jesus heals in John?s Gospel. {{more: continue …}}
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When Jesus sees a man who has been ill for thirty-eight years lying there, he asks him, ?Do you want to be made well?? (5:6). We might expect a resounding ?Yes!? Instead, the man offers a complaint, ?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? (5:7).
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From John’s brief account, we begin to get some hints about the invalid’s character.

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  • Old. If the life expectancy in those days was maybe 35, and if this man had been afflicted during his childhood, he might have been 40 or 50 by this time — an old man (5:5).
  • Dependent. He probably relies on others to bring him, take him home, and support him (5:7). If he couldn’t take care of himself well, he was probably dirty and smelly too — a smelly old man.
  • Complainer. He complains about how long he’s been an invalid. He complains that he doesn’t have anyone to help him into the pool (5:5, 7)
  • Blamer. When confronted by the Jews for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath he blames the person who told him to carry it (5:10-13).
  • Sinner (5:14), serious enough for Jesus to confront him in the temple.
  • Ungrateful and disloyal. When he learns Jesus’ name, he reports it to the religious leaders. He “tattles” on Jesus rather than being thankful for his healing and loyal to his healer (5:15).
  • Unrepentant (5:14-15). There’s no indication that he accepted and acted on Jesus’ rebuke about his sin; rather John tells us that he reports Jesus to the authorities.

Why did Jesus choose to heal this man of all those gathered at the Pool of Bethesda that day? I can think that it was the Father’s clear direction (see 5:19) and utter grace! Clearly, this man didn’t deserve what he received — nor did he seem to appreciate it at any depth.

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See you on Sunday when we’ll explore John 5:1-15.
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‘I don’t know how but I know WHO!”
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Peace,

Pastor Nelda
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Kennedale

First United Methodist Church is located at 229 W 4th St, Kennedale, TX 76060

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