Hello there! Well, today is going to look a bit different from our usual family devotional formats.
But, first, I want you to read John 5:1-18
This is a story of Jesus healing a man at a pool.
Read the story in the Bible first.
Then I want you to put on your imagination hat. It’s fun to think through more details of Bible stories. To imagine deeper.
I love to imagine! It’s one of my favorite hobbies? Do you enjoy it?
Ok. Here is how I imagine in between the lines of John 5. This story will be told form the perspective of the invalid man. Let’s call him Jude.
There is a public pool in Jerusalem by the sheep gate. Some say the pool has magical healing powers. I’m wasn’t sure if I believed that or not. But, it was my last chance. Somehow, when you have no other options, you start to believe in magic.
You see, I can’t walk. I got trampled by a horse when I was 15. Now I’m 53. You do the math. I have no family left. My mother died a few days ago. She was the only person that took care of me. Now, I had no job. No food. Nothing.
I guess you’d say I was angry. Angry that she’s gone. Angry that I am this way. Reliant on others to help me, because you see – no one would help me. Sometimes I wondered if I was invisible.
At this point, my only option was to make my way to this pool called Bethesda. I’ve always been a realist. I knew I was dead man. But, somehow I had this tiny bit of hope that the pool could make me well. Maybe it’s because hope was all I had. I was desperate.
My mom had some money saved, not much, but enough for me to convince and pay a beggar to carry me to the pool. He did as I asked. The pool was full, not even a space for him to set me in. So, he put me on my mat next to the pool.
“When someone get’s out, ask them to put you in,” he said.
And, then he left me.
It had been two days, and no one had helped me in. I’d been here a long time. I told you I felt invisible. I was beginning to feel light headed. But, I wasn’t going to ask anyone for help. That’s not what I did.
Suddenly, I heard someone say, “Do you want to be healed?”
“Are you talking to me?” I thought, “What a stupid question. Of course I want to be healed.”
But, I didn’t say that. I just laid on my mat.
“Take up your bed and walk.”
I tried to stand. I don’t know why. But, I tried. And, then all of a sudden I was upright. I forgot what the world looked like form this position.
I started screaming, “I’M HEALED! I’M HEALED!”
Suddenly, I wasn’t invisible anymore. A crowd of people rushed around me. Everyone began talking at once.
“Where did the man go? The man that healed me?” I kept asking.
But, no one knew where he went.
I didn’t even know who he was.
I was going to do EXACTLY what he told me. I took my mat, and started walking.
Once I was outside of the pool, I saw a group of Pharisees. They reprimanded me for carrying my mat on the sabbath. Because, in Jewish tradition on the sabbath you are not allowed to carry anything.
I told them what happened, and what the man had asked me to do. They wanted to know the man’s name, but I didn’t know. All I knew was that I needed to do what he said, and also go worship God.
Somehow God had seen me, and had given me my life back.
I ran to the temple.
Yes, you read that right. I RAN. It felt so good. I had forgotten what it felt like to have my heart beat hard, and for my lungs to burn.
Once I was inside the gates, I went into the temple courts. I knelt to pray.
As I arose, I felt a hand on my shoulder. “You look well!” he said.
It was the man that had healed me. He said his name was Jesus. I’ve heard people speaking of him. That he’s the Messiah. The one to save our people.
I never really believed that the public pool could heal me, but I certainly believed that the Messiah heals. I’ve read all the prophesy. I’ve studied the Torah. This is what we have been waiting for.
I rushed to tell the Pharisees, feeling certain they’d want to know the amazing miracle that happened to me. Feeling certain they’d want to talk with Jesus and move him into a position of power.
But, instead, they brushed me aside. I heard them plotting to kill him. Saying that he breaks the Sabbath and calls himself equal with God.
I didn’t care if I was in danger, I had to tell Jesus. I ran back to the temple, desperately trying to find him. To protect him from those plotting against his life.