The other night, my boy and I caught a little bit of a 007-type of movie with cool gadgets, incredible suspense and high action. The mission of the agents is to go unnoticed, accomplish their responsibilities and return safely. I must say the suspense was good and pretty exciting to watch! It made me want to get some of their gadgets that is for sure.
In John 5, there is some 007-action going on by Jesus. Maybe we should call it 777-action. Anyway, a guy who has been lame for 38 years and unable to get into a pool, which tradition says will bring his healing, finds himself in a conversation with Jesus. The guy doesn’t know who he was talking to, but Jesus takes an interest in him even though the guy isn't able to offer a whole lot to society.
I love the story. Jesus asks him if he wants to get well. He responds with, "Yes, but I don't have anyone to help me get in the water." Then, Jesus heals the guy. I am guessing the once crippled man probably danced a pretty mean jig!
Here is what I like about the story: "Jesus the Healer" suddenly becomes "Jesus the Vanisher." Don't take that to be too mystical, because it isn't meant that way. Scripture just says Jesus slipped away into the crowd (John 5:13). He does this incredible act, and He moves on. He doesn't seek attention. He doesn't look for a platform. He just silently slips away.
I am challenged by Jesus’ example in John 5, especially because of some reading I have been doing recently. Today, you and I will cross the path of somebody that because of their circumstances or because of lids society has placed on them seems "helpless" or "paralyzed" in the midst of life. I want to encourage us to gracefully engage that person like Jesus did, and offer them some hope and value. Then simply slip silently away like Christ did. Don't look for a platform or a pat on the back. Let love live.
"Preach the gospel. And if necessary, use words." (St. Francis of Assisi)