A Countdown to Listening to Jesus in the land of the Bible
A certain man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, knowing that he had already been there a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
John 5:5-6 CEB
Think of something you really want. Now, how much do you really want it? It had always been a dream of mine to go to Israel, to walk in Jesus footsteps. I wanted to hear Him say to me the words He said to others in scripture. I wanted to put myself in their place. That is a great part of pilgrimage, to put yourself into the time and space where Christ lived, where He walked and talked, and worked so many miracles.
I remember standing by the ruins of the pool of Bethsaida where Jesus healed the man who’d been sick for 38 years. We don’t know his age or what was wrong with him exactly. Perhaps he was sick from something he’d done, or as the consequence of some sin. We don’t know. What we do know is that he hadn’t always been that way. And we know that he longed to be healed. 38 years is a long time to be carried out by someone and placed by the pool in hopes of being healed.
Jesus, being God, never asked a question he didn’t already know the answer to. So, when he asked the man if he wanted to get well, Jesus knew that he did. His 38 years by the pool demonstrated that. But how much did he want healing? Would he be willing to obey whatever Jesus told him to do? When Jesus told him to get up and walk, being a Jew, he knew that was to break a Sabbath law. But being in the presence of God, and hearing Jesus command, he knew he must; it was his moment for healing. God had heard his prayers of all the years.
As we journey to the Holy Land, we will visit the pool of Bethsaida. When I was there, I remember thinking of all things I wish I’d done different in life, things for which I too wanted healing. Healing is for more than just our physical bodies, it’s for our spirits, and emotions as well.
What will you bring with you to the pool? As you look in to the ancient ruins and think of how so many came there for healing, remember that the one who created the world stood there one day and brought the greatest healing of all. There isn’t any water in the pool anymore, but Jesus didn’t need the waters of the pool to heal the man that day. What will you bring to the pool? The only thing you need to bring – is faith.
Day 26 has begun…