By: Kelsey Short
It was that time of year again when the feast took place in Jerusalem. Jesus was used to making this journey. He had been making this trip since He was born. He was familiar with where to go and what to do.
When Jesus was 12 years old, Mary and Joseph made their way to Jerusalem for the feast and as they were heading home they realized Jesus wasn’t with them. He had stayed back at the temple to learn and ask questions with the priests. I love the response He gave Mary after she was in a panic searching for her son for 3 days. Jesus, at 12 years old, says “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. (Luke 2:49-50 ESV). Even at that age Jesus knew his Father and the relationship that they shared.
This time, as Jesus was in Jerusalem He went by the Sheep Gate. This gate was outside of the city wall and had a pool near it. It was believed that this pool had healing powers when it became stirred up. That’s why the lame, paralyzed and blind lived around it. These people were people who didn’t belong inside the walls of Jerusalem, people who society had given up on, and people who were outcast. Jesus had made this journey many times and this time went to the pool for a reason.
In John 5 we hear about a man that had been laying outside of the gate for 38 years and didn’t know who Jesus was but Jesus knew him. Jesus asked him “Do you want to be healed?” and the man replied by sharing a small part of his tragic story. Jesus, being full of compassion, told the man to “Get up, take your bed, and walk”. That’s it. That’s all the man had to do to be healed. In a moment Jesus had changed this man’s life forever.
The Jews didn’t like that Jesus was ‘working’ on the Sabbath. They already wanted Jesus killed because of what He was teaching. Now He wasn’t even keeping the Sabbath day holy. If that wasn’t enough, then He was calling God His Father which would make him equal with God. The Jews were over all the outlandish claims that Jesus was making. It went against what they stood for, what had been tradition for years, and their power over others. If there was no need to go through a priest to talk with God what was their purpose? Jesus was a threat to their job and position in the community.
In verses 19-29 today, we can understand the relationship between the Father and the Son. We know the end of this story. Can you imagine hearing this for the first time? This man who wouldn’t stand out in a crowd was saying that He is here doing the Lord’s will. It would be overwhelming to hear. What Jesus is saying is emphasizing his glory and holiness. The relationship with his Father sets him apart from us. Jesus does the will of the Father. What the Father does, Jesus does. Look over these verses again. Write out the characteristics of who God is and what He does for those who hear His words.
How are you renewing your mind during this Lent season to be more like Christ? How are you living like Christ, doing the Father’s will in your life? Are you reflecting on Christ’s work in your life?