Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Reflecting Again On The Gospel of John
I don't get Jesus. I mean, I do, but I don't. He is an odd sort of person, and the further I read in the gospel of John, the odder he is getting.
In chapter five, Jesus heals the invalid beside the pool of Bethesda. It is a brief but interesting account. Jesus behaves oddly. Out of what my version says are multitudes of invalids lying around, Jesus singles out one man. Now maybe Jesus healed more of them, but I'm guessing he didn't because John specifically says "one man" was there who had been there a very long time. One out of multitudes. All of them sick. John says "blind, lame, and paralyzed."
First, I have to ask. What was Jesus doing there, in that pool area? Was he taking in the sights of all the invalids? Did he go there intending to heal only one person? Was that spontaneous? Did he look at the others who were there? John says that it was so crowded that no one even seemed to notice that this guy got healed. The healed one didn't even find out who it was that healed him until later. Unbelievable that no one saw this and yelled, "Hey how about me? I 'd like to walk, please."
Second, I feel somewhat confused. What prevented Jesus from healing more than one? I work in a state hospital. The patients there are sick. Mentally sick, emotionally sick, physically sick, and spiritually sick. Nearly every work day, I think how wondrous it would be to be able to miraculously heal them. But not just one. There are so many for whom I feel compassion. I want them to be well because I care for them. I see their pain, their suffering. But unlike Jesus, my powers are limited. What prevented him from healing more than one of the multitudes? I don't get it. It is odd. Jesus is odd.
He healed one and left unnoticed. I am not bothered by the leaving unnoticed. The leaving after only one bothers me. I know that I'll just have to live feeling bothered by Jesus' actions. He didn't seem concerned that his actions bothered the Jews. I'm sure that my feeling bothered is of no consequence. Nevertheless, Jesus behaves oddly. And yes, some would explain it somehow so that Jesus doesn't look so odd.
But really, I am absolutely okay with Jesus' being a bit odd . . . okay, with being a lot odd.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes