John 5:15—The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Never underestimate the need for approval. A man is sick for 38 years. Jesus sees him and knows his situation. He asks him if he would like to get well. Instead of answering “Yes!,” the man shares a pool of woes. You can read about it in John 5:1-7.
Jesus is not interested in what doesn’t work. He tells the man the best eight words he has heard in almost four decades. “Get up! Pick up your bedroll and walk!” Instantly he is healed. Predictably, the religious leaders miss the awesomeness of his healing and zero in on why he is breaking Sabbath law by carrying his mat. The man explains what Jesus told him to do but he has no clue of Jesus’ identity. Later the Lord finds him and says, “See you are well. Do not sin any more, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” Essentially, Jesus who knows all things, is giving the man a warning. Why? What is it he sees in this man’s heart?
Why an immobilized man set free would need to curry the favor of the religious leaders who were helpless to help him for 38 years should tell us much about human nature. Evidently, what cured his illness did not touch his spirit. Instead of protecting the identity of his benefactor, the man reported Him to the authorities. This caused Jesus to be persecuted by the Jews. It was also an eerie foreshadowing. The nation directly blessed by Jesus’ miracles and teaching when orchestrated by jealous religious leaders, were only too eager to yell “Crucify Him!”
Welcome to a mysterious pool called Bethesda. Here we discover a disease much worse and more widespread than blindness, lameness or paralysis. It is atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Its victims would rather cooperate with those in control than to have faith. The miracle worker is expendable. The power of grace is blocked by the fear of disgrace. It is not the multitude that is cured when the pool is stirred it is the one who makes it first to the water.
The Bible tells us of days when children rise against their parents and vice versa. People will do what is in their self-interest in order to further their own preservation. If the authorities declare faith in Christ to be a crime, don’t be surprised when the neighbor you helped reports you. Veins too clogged for faith whisper betrayal. It happened to Jesus and He really was special. If after a spectacular healing the Master has to say, “See you are well, do not sin any more . . .”something is radically wrong!
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)