Reading Through the Bible, Wednesday, November 2. John 5 – 7

    Do you want to get well?

    Seems like a strange and heartless question to ask an invalid, but evidently, Jesus thought it was necessary.

    I remember this story from childhood days in Bible school.  There was a picture of Jesus, standing by a lame man, with an angel floating down from heaven with his finger about to touch a pool of water.

    The story was told us as truth.  Periodically, God would send an angel down to “trouble” or “stir” the water.  First one in the pool after the stirring was healed.  But that’s precisely what the lame man believed – and he was wrong.  Throughout the gospel of John thus far, the news about Jesus has spread far and wide.  Everyone knew about Jesus.  Everyone but this lame man who placed his hope in a stupid superstition.  Notice that even after Jesus healed him, he made no effort to get to know the Lord, or even ask his name.  Jesus found him later and rebuked him: “Stop sinning before something worse happens to you.”

    I can see at least two lessons in this story: First, God calls us to know Him, and the only reliable way to know Him is to be conversant with what He has said about Himself.  Had the lame man done that, he would have known that God in heaven doesn’t taunt crippled people so he can watch them compete for healing.  Some people put their hope in whatever superstition comes down the road, what ever religion is “easy” and makes them feel good without asking whether it is true.

    Second, there are consequences to this kind of behavior and the greatest one is to be blind to the truth, even when it is the Lord standing right in front of you.