Today’s Reading: John 5:1-23 (additional reading: Psalm 105:37-45 & Proverbs 14:28-29)
One way that you can understand the heart of another is asking the question, “What is their agenda?” What drives that person? Why do they do the things that they do? A young man trying to climb the corporate ladder makes sure that he wears the right clothes, carries the right brief case, and hangs out with the right people in the business world. Young people who aspire who make it big in acting leave their homes and travel to Hollywood to be in the right place, just as Nashville draws young singers, and New York draws aspiring models.
To really determine what makes a person tick is to examine where they spend their time. As we examine the life of Jesus, we will discover that most of His time was not spent at the Temple where most religious leaders focused their activities. Also, He did not spend most of His time with the Social elite crowd who could have certainly helped His ministry both financially and politicly. Instead, so often as in this case we find Jesus placing Himself in the midst of hurting people.
In today’s reading we find him at the pool of Bethesda. The first person in the pool after the stirring would be healed of any infirmity. With this belief brought multitudes of hurting and desperate people who hoped for anything to bring them help. Can you imagine multitudes of lame, blind, and grossly disfigured people in one place? Certainly, most of the religious leaders stayed away from this place in fear of touching a person with an infirmity. Yet this is exactly where Jesus found Himself as He had a heart for hurting people.
Not only was Jesus there but, Jesus desires to help those who cannot help themselves (5:5-9). There is an old saying, “God helps those who helps themselves.” Have any of you ever used it? I am sure I have. This saying is so prominent that many probably think it is right out of Scripture. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Sure, our Lord has called us all to lives of responsibility and in areas that He has equipped us to help ourselves we are to do just that. But each of us will at times in our lives find ourselves in situations that are beyond our own help. This is where Jesus plays such an important role in humanity. He has come to help those who cannot help themselves. This is the very reason that He stepped out of heaven. If we could help ourselves in every matter then we would have no need of Jesus.
Here we find a man in a desperate situation and was unable to help himself. He had been lame for 38 years. He had no one to help him to the pool. He even believed in a false teaching. He seemed without hope. Yet, Jesus came to bring hope to the hopeless. This is the heart of Jesus.