Saturday, May 17, 2014


It came to pass that Jesus came to the Pool of Bethesda, where a multitude of "impotent folk" were gathered, waiting to be cured.  For it was widely believed that from time to time an angel would descend from above and stir the waters, and that whoever had the good fortune to enter first after the stirring would be cured of his infirmity.

Now there was a man there who had been a paralytic for thirty eight years.  When Jesus approached him and asked if he truly desired to be healed, the man responded that whenever the water was stirred, he "had no man" to lift him into the pool, so that someone else always got there before him.  It was at this point that Jesus told the man to lift up his bed and walk, cautioning that he should sin no more lest he should be afflicted with something even worse than paralysis.

The question is....Are we not all "impotent folk" (the word means "lacking power") paralyzed by those sinful passions that bind us?  And so we hope against hope that somehow a miracle will occur to heal our infirmities.  The truth is, we are--humanly speaking--powerless to save ourselves.  Try as we might, we simply cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps--and we "have no man" to lift us when the hour of deliverance is at hand.

Yet there is indeed a Man--the Godman Jesus Christ--who can by a single word set us free from our wretched condition.  We must, however, first of all truly desire to be healed.  But who, you might well ask, would not desire deliverance from their sinful condition?  Yet the sad truth is that many would rather choose to remain paralyzed than to "sin no more"--that is, to consciously renounce their attachment to the sinful passions and to live a life of ongoing repentance.

However, there simply is no magical cure that will grant us healing and salvation apart from a lifelong struggle against our sinful passions and desires and a genuine commitment to change and to be changed.  Apart from the abundant grace of God, it is impossible to be set free from those infirmities that bind us to this world.  Only beware that having once been healed, you become negligent and complacent, so that in the end something even worse should befall you. 

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