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“Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” —John 5:9a
Expect the Unexpected
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You may be familiar with the story told in today’s Gospel text, where a we come across a man who has been waiting by the healing pools for 38 years. Jesus comes to him and asks him if he wants to be made well.
The Greek word there, that we translate as “well” is actually best translated as “whole.”
So Jesus is asking this man if in fact, he wants to be made whole.
What is wholeness? Is it about physical healing, as we see here?
Or might it be about something else?
I think it’s a really powerful moment when the man says that he doesn’t have anyone to help him get into the pool, so he always misses his opportunity for healing. And Jesus tells him to get up and walk.
It’s easy to be distracted by the miracle of the physical healing, but the miracle is not in the physical, but in the fact that Jesus brings this man back into wholeness. This man has been alone. He literally says “I have no one.”
And Jesus tells him to get up and walk, go into the temple, rejoin the community.
Wholeness is what God is all about.
Healing us not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually and relationally. Notice how this guy doesn’t ask for it, doesn’t say a prayer of faith, doesn’t even say thank you after he is healed.
We are reminded today how freely and without cause grace is given to us… to all of us.
God wants you to be whole.
So today it’s our turn to get up and walk.
To stop waiting for healing, and just go live the whole, full life that we have already been given.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. What is the best part of waiting? The worst?
2. What’s the longest you’ve ever had to wait for something?
3. Who do you know that is alone? How can you invite them to be a part of a community?
This week, find ways to increase community in your life. If you know someone who is alone, find ways to connect with them on a regular basis, starting now. Share a meal with friends or another family. Go out with friends or co-workers. We have been created to be in community with each other – so live into that full whole life you’ve been given this week.