It has been quite a week for me as a pastor. It is hard seeing people going through difficulties, feeling pain and struggling with some of the tough issues of life. Yet I feel greatly blessed to walk with people through these times. I am so privileged to be part of a church family who cares for one another. And I have witnessed this once again as I see people going the extra mile to help those who are going through tough times. As I read the Scriptures, I see the love and compassion of God being shown through His people time and time again as they seek to represent Jesus to their communities. This I see in many who are part of our community here at Grace Kogarah!
Last Sunday we met Jesus at Jacob’s Well where He broke with convention and conversed with a Samaritan woman. It was at this historic well where Jesus revealed that He was the long awaited Messiah. He shared this revelation with a woman who was deep in sin. This woman responded, and eventually, through her testimony, many in her community came to believe in Jesus. Today we meet Jesus at a pool, a pool called Bethesda. It was located near the Sheep’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem. Here He met yet another very average person – an invalid or paralytic. He healed this man and through this healing amazing events followed and a great truth was once again revealed. Yet what was interesting was the reaction of the Jews to the healing of this invalid and their response to the revelation of Jesus.
There is much for us to learn from John 5. I guess for me, after reading this account, I have seen the coldness of peoples’ hearts to the blessings of God. I have noted that legalism is more important to them than acknowledging God’s intervention in certain people’s lives. Where there should have been great joy there is skepticism, indiffer-ence and even judgement. It is hard to believe that after a man had been miraculously healed, all the Jews could do was criticize him for carrying his mat on the Sabbath! Crazy! And when Jesus confirmed His deity, or more precisely His equality with God, they tried harder to kill Him. This passage of Scripture brings each one of us to a response – we need to ask ourselves whether we pass the test of believing Jesus where the Jews failed.