Recently we looked at Jesus’ healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethsaida. Instead of reading the story from the Bible ourselves, we used this clip from the the Visual Bible:
For our craft we made “rock pools” using blue plastic plates (I found some with a wavy pattern on them) and small stones and rocks glued on the edges. Only problem we found was that the glue took a while to set, so the stones were not securely attached when the children were taking the plates home – caution was advised.
Let me ask you a question? Do you want a chocolate? Wow that was a quick answer. Let’s look again at what the man answered when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well?
(Here we showed the clip again from 0.54 to 1.13)
He had been sick for 38 years, not minutes, not days, not weeks…. 38 years. And he was there waiting to get into the bubbling pool to be healed, and had been beaten to it every single time. You would think if someone asked if he wanted to be well, it would a very quick yes, but it wasn’t. Instead he answered why he CAN’T get well. When Jesus asked this man the question he had wanted for 38 years to come true, he hadn’t listened to Jesus speaking to him. Instead he was focused on himself and not present in that moment. He said what he would have told himself time and time again so it became an automatic response.
What if Jesus was right here, right now standing in front of you and asks “do you want to be well?” “Do you want to be all God intended you to be when He made you?”
Do you hear Jesus or what you have been saying to yourself time and time again?
“But you don’t understand I have a lot on at the moment”
“But I don’t deserve it, someone else always gets your blessing, not me”
“But I like being taken care of”
“But I know this life, I don’t know what that kind of life that would be like- too scary for me to give you control”
Jesus heard not his words but his heart, and gave him the answer to being well. And this man didn’t even know it was Jesus, the well-known healer, the Son of God.
Jesus told him “Rise, take up your bed and walk” He did and was healed. How many times had he struggled to do just this – and instead of listening to his excuses – this time he listened, believed, trusted and obeyed Jesus and he got the miracle of healing he had wanted.
(show clip from 1.13- to 2.08)
Once again we see that the miracle is the unexpected. How did God bring down the city walls of Jericho? Have Joshua’s army march around them. How did Jesus heal a lame man? Tell him to get up. Joshua wanted to take the city of Jericho and trusted and obeyed what God told him to do. The lame man wanted to be well and trusted and obeyed what Jesus told him to do. And I believe it is in our trust and obedience that miracles happen.
Lord, the noise of our own self-importance fills this world, deafening us to your words, blinding us to the possibilities you lay before us, and closing our minds to the miracles you want to work in our lives.
We take at face value the accepted knowledge of the world, failing to open ourselves to your infinite grace and healing gifts.
At a time when conflicts are increasing, when world neighbours turn against each other, when a decision taken in one country causes terror and grief in another, open our ears to hear your voice.
Where the world speaks words of hate and war
Let your words of peace and reconciliation be heard
Where the world speaks words of sorrow and despair
Let your words of comfort and hope be heard
Where the world speaks words of sickness and mourning
Let your words of healing and strength be heard
Where the world speaks words of selfishness and self-reliance
Let your words of love for one another be heard
Where the world speaks … let us instead listen to you, Lord,
and hear your words of grace and forgiveness in our lives every day.