Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: STIR (11/12/15)
- TITLE: Living Water
By Yvonne Blake
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My name is Luke. I am a doctor and healer, but I had found a greater One.
I had come up to Jerusalem for the Sabbath, as was my custom, and wandered among the city’s crowded streets until I reached the Pool of Bethesda, the Pool of Mercy. It lay on the east side of the temple near the sheep’s gate, where worshipers brought their sacrifices.
As a physician, this place filled my heart with an ache and deep frustration. Around the ornately tiled pool lay dozens of invalids—those suffering from incurable diseases, some blind or crippled, others with chronic hidden pains. Occasionally, I stooped to see if I could help, but often their ailments were beyond my knowledge. I could not cure them, although that is why they gathered here.
This was a place of healing and of cleansing, a mikvah. It was built over a spring, which provided the pool with fresh “living water.” Ordinarily, it was used for ritual purification—symbolizing new birth, new life. At times, the spring bubbled deep from within the rocks, and some believed it was an angel stirring up the healing powers of the water. I didn’t know what minerals it contained, but when it bubbled, the people rushed into the cloudy pool. Some claimed to be cured.
One man, his limbs twisted and frail, watched me enter the porticos. It was hard to guess his age, perhaps thirty or forty years, maybe more, but it was certain he was no longer young. His sad eyes followed me as I walked around the pool. Even as I drew closer, he did not lift his head; he did not move at all—except for those sad, dark eyes. I felt helpless. I could not cure him.
I could not, but Jesus did. He was there at the pool, too. I had seen His miracles and was drawn to this Master. He spoke to the lame man. “Do you wish to be made whole?”
The man craned his neck to look up at the kind stranger. “I have no one to carry me,” his hoarse voice whispered. “When the angel stirs the water,” he paused to catch his breath. “While I am trying, another . . . another reaches the waters first.”
“Rise.” Jesus clasped his hand and lifted him upon his feet. “Take up your bed and walk.” The man’s limbs filled with strength and life. He laughed and jumped and ran down the steps to the water. He splashed with joy before gathering his tattered rags and pranced away rejoicing.
What is this? He walks! I shouldn’t have been shocked. I had seen the Master heal others, but each time it took my breath away with the wonder of His power and authority. This was not the superstitious healing of the pool, but a divine healing of a truly living water.
Those who were scattered on the porches around the pool stared at the miraculous scene that played out before them and soon began whispering among themselves. I knew what they were saying. It is the Sabbath. It was unlawful to heal on the Sabbath. It was even a sin for someone to carry his bedding on the Sabbath. Jesus had done this before. It was as if He enjoyed stirring up trouble. He seemed to leave swirls of controversy wherever He went.
As I followed Jesus into the temple area, I saw the man who had been paralyzed. Jesus touched his arm. “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Recognizing his healer and Savior, the man bowed at the feet of the Master.
A group of austere men huddled nearby, decked in their blue trimmed robes. The man pointed to Jesus. “This is the one who told me to carry my bedding. I can walk! He healed me.” The religious leaders crossed their arms. Clouds of anger troubled their faces.
Jesus spoke, and His words filled the air like rolling thunder. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”
Surely, if healing on the Sabbath didn’t agitate them enough, claiming to be the Son of God would certainly do it. I shook my head in wonder. Son of God? My heart knew that it was so.
(John 5, NKJV)
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