Going to (and From) the Mat

Rev. Andrew Prin
May 26, 2019
“Going to (and From) the Mat”

GodSpeak for the Week of May 26

We’re back to the Lectionary this week, focusing on John’s recounting of a story from early in Jesus’ ministry.

Day 1…Read John 5:1-9

  • Consider this – John is very specific to note that the pool of Bethesda was near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem.
    • The Sheep Gate is believed to have been the opening in the wall around Jerusalem (on the east side of the city, near the Temple), where sheep/lambs were brought in for sacrifice at the Temple.
  • Answer this – looking at this whole passage, what are the themes of sacrifice John illustrates?

Day 2…Read John 5:2

  • Consider this – the word “Bethesda” means “house of mercy” and/or “flowing water.”
    • Folks believed the waters in the pool could cure all kinds of illnesses, however;
    • …they would only bubble once or twice each day, and;
    • …only the first person into the water would get the benefit of healing (thus, the constant watching and racing to get in the water first)!
  • Answer this – for the man who was blind, lame and paralyzed…what did this “house of mercy” and “flowing water” represent?

Day 3…Read John 5:2 (again)

  • Consider this – while this “house of mercy” and “flowing water” had been anything BUT merciful to this man, along comes Jesus;
    • …who zeroes in on this particular man, asking him if he’d like to be healed.
    • Note – for 38 years…every, single day…this man had gone to the pool seeking healing.  And, then – one day, after almost 14,000 days of failure and frustration, Jesus shows up.
  • Answer this – how must Jesus’ question have sounded to the man?  How must that have felt to him to have Jesus make the offer He did?
    • What does this say about the nature of God’s healing versus what we often hear from the world?

Day 4…Read John 5:6-9

  • Consider this – people went to the Pool of Bethesda, because they believed there were mystical/miraculous powers in the WATERS.
  • Answer this – after some 14,000 days of personal failure, what actually brings the man healing, though?
    • Why does this matter?  What does this say about the way Jesus creates healing in people?

Day 5…Read John 5:9

  • Consider this – John tells us that the man’s healing was effected “at once”; that is, immediately or forthwith.
    • After 38 years, the man just got up and walked right there.
  • Answer this – have you ever seen (or, heard of) instantaneous healing like this?
    • These days, folks will often lament that miracles don’t happen today like they did when Jesus was on earth.  How do you answer this?

Day 6…Read John 5:9

  • Consider this – the final words of our lesson for this week note: “The day on which this took place was the Sabbath…”
  • Answer this – why is that significant?  Even early in His ministry, what is Jesus saying about the work (and, healing) of God?