Biblical Reflections, Discipleship

The Great Physician of the World

Bible Lesson: John 5:1-15

Theme Verses: Vs.8-9. Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

In spite of tremendous progress in the field of Science and Medicine sickness continues to haunt us. On one hand invention of new vaccines takes place and on the other hand rare types of diseases pop-ups. Scenes at the hospitals are pathetic where lots of sick people battle for their lives. Sickness not only makes persons physically unfit but also creates so much distress and anxiety that it further affects them spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Even if a sickness is for a brief period, it creates trauma. In the above passage, we find a man who was paralysed for thirty eight years and was lying near the pool at Bethsaida along with other invalid people. Thousands of years back, there were no multispecialty or super speciality hospitals which could have catered to the needs of this man. He was left alone by his own relatives and friends. The pool was the only hope for him to be healed but unfortunately when the water was stirred up by the angels he had no one to put him in the pool. In the midst of his prolonged illness, Jesus came there to heal him.

The name of the pool was Bethsaida meaning ‘house of mercy’ and around the pool there were numerous people suffering with different types of diseases who had waited for years to be healed. Even before the coming of Christ into the world, in His great mercy God provided hope to the ailing people at Bethsaida. We should not forget that our God is merciful and compassionate. He doesn’t want us to suffer. The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy’ (Ex. 33:19). Mercy is the attribute of God which causes Him to help those who are in misery. Unfortunately, there are many people who still don’t believe in God or accept Jesus Christ as their savior but they too sometimes get healed because of His mercy revealed through Christ Jesus. God’s act of mercy flows in the lives of needy people through doctors, staff nurses. ‘As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him’ (Psalm 103:13-14).

The above passage does not limit God’s mercies to the Pool of Bethsaida but its horizon gets broaden by the visit of Jesus to the paralytic man. In loving compassion, our Savior interacts with a paralyzed man with regard to his healing. He knew that this was the greatest longing of the man’s heart. After the creation of the universe in Genesis 1:31, God saw everything and said it’s very good. Initially, there was no sickness, diseases, suffering or death because God’s creation was perfect. But the first couple exercised their free will in the wrong direction which gave birth to sin and all types of diseases, suffering and death. By asking the question, “Do you want to get well?” God demands our will in the ministry of healing. Our will within the will of God generates faith and brightens our hope. God diverts the focus of man from the pool of Bethsaida to Himself. In suffering our focus should always be on Jesus who has authority over all sickness. In the state of helplessness our Lord visits us, sees our suffering, knows the depth of our need and addresses our pain with His measureless compassion. When He is on our side then we will lack no good things. He expects us to cast all our anxiety and worries on Him, because He cares for us (I Peter 5:7).

When Jesus came to the paralytic man He said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. When Jesus spoke with authority, new life and power flowed in his body ‘at once’ and all the infirmities vanished within seconds. He got new strength and energy. Praise the Lord! By believing in Jesus Christ we are saved (Acts 16:31). He changes our mourning into dancing. Satan has no authority over us. By His stripes we are healed. When Jesus stands beside us sickness flees from His presence; rituals become meaningless; and we become His witnesses. Even after 2000 years people are still witnessing Jesus’ act of healing in their lives. Every Sunday in Yeshu Darbar, Allahabad hundreds of people witness God’s mighty act. After healing, Jesus challenged the man to embrace spiritual wholeness (v.14). When God fulfills our desire He also wants us to abide by His will. Once we are saved we need to live a godly life. Our gift of forgiveness is always accompanied with a call to holiness and to a life which would not be possible without Christ.’ Those who are cleansed by the precious blood of Christ are called to be holy in all their conduct (1 Peter 1:15).

The great Physician now is near, The sympathizing Jesus;

                                                  He speaks the drooping heart to cheer, Oh, hear the voice of Jesus             William Hunter