Jesus went out to eat in Jerusalem. He was headed for a party, a joyous occasion, a feast!
Coming into Jerusalem, He passed Bethesda. Now, Bethesda was a place of miracles. People came from all around to basically live by this pool of healing. This was a site of interest. Today, when someone experiences something miraculous we do the same thing. We gather at the site. People come in droves to see the spot where something miraculous has occurred. Some come to bring their hopes of healing, others to observe, and some even to criticize. But whatever the case, people come in droves. Bethesda was no different.
Waiting for the angel to stir the water, some people lived in hope.
There was a man – a man by the wayside – a man waiting – a man hoping. This man needed help to slide into the pool. He couldn’t even get to his feet to walk to the pool when the water was moved. He was left at the mercy of those around him; the people around him had none. Most people were there for themselves, their pain, and their hurts. But, there were those that were there to observe.
There are two basic ways to observe the multitude hurting:
Review the hurting from a distance, whether it is your own or someone else’s.
Respond to the hurting up close and personal, whether it is your own or someone else’s.
And Jesus forces us in this passage to realize that there are two ways we can respond, either by:
receiving the hurting/hurt
resenting the hurting/hurt
Recently, I attended a worship service in Baltimore, Maryland. The location of this particular church was in the midst of a drug infested environment. While driving to the service, my friend pointed out a particular corner that is considered the worst in Baltimore.
Grand boarded up ornate edifices daily blink away their tears, as drunken or drugged men slip off of the once preened marble steps. An almost audible sigh slips through the sagging sidewalks, as a young woman dressed to please receives the ogling and clutching of an old man dressed in money.
This is hurting at its core. This hurt refuses to admit that it is even hurting.
I am a passerby.
I enter the church.
The purple carpet soaks me into its plush reception. Beautiful faces filled with love and excitement, receive me. I enter the halls of the hurting, the halls of the hurting in Him. The response is different in this place. Faces shine, clothing sparkles, and kindness explodes. The crowded room soon allows the men to rise and relinquish their seats to hats and high heels. The water is stirred and some jump in. But the message is for the multitude. The message is ‘Rise take up your bed and walk.’ Now, let me make it clear. This was not the message being preached with such candor and fervor… but it is the message that I see before me. The angel’s touch only healed one at a time. Jesus heals ALL who take up their bed and walk.
What is our response to the hurting? To our own hurting? Do we receive it, or resent it?
Or, are we so oblivious that we coldly review the hurting? Coldly review our own hurting?
And Jesus says, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” No matter what the day, the time, or the season. He offers.
What does all this mean? – Just food for thought.
I have oh, so many questions. – He alone has answers.
Blessings upon your days.
See you next week. Here on Mondays.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
Robyn & Biff Cox
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Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?