John 5:2-9 NRSVue

2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many ill, blind, lame, and paralyzed people. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The ill man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am making my way someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Now that day was a Sabbath.

Some thoughts on this scripture

In asking the man if he wanted to be well, I imagine how he may have become used to his illness and familiar with its once unwelcome restraints. His identity lay not in being an invalid, but in being a child of God. Even as I pray for freedom and for light, I acknowledge before God any fear that I may have of being unburdened.

The sick man did not answer Jesus' question, but told the familiar story of his troubles. As Jesus now speaks to me, I do my best to answer what he asks being careful not to rehearse any disempowering message.