The Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (13:4)

Jesus had a similar (to the woman taken in adultery—John 8:3-11) encounter with the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. The paralytic had been trying for thirty-eight years to find healing in the water of the pool. One Sabbath afternoon he looked up, and the kindest face he had ever seen looked back at him and said, “Would you like to be well?” John 5:6. Jesus didn’t lecture the man on the youthful self-indulgence that may have caused his illness in the first place. He simply said, “Would you like to be well? If so, get up, put your mat under your arm and go home” (based on John 5:8). Later, Jesus met him and said, “I suggest you stop sinning, lest something worse befall you” (based on John 5:14). Jesus always worked in that order—first He made people comfortable, then He healed them. Especially when dealing with sinners who might be despising themselves, He first helped them recover their dignity and self-respect. How can you ask a person to act with dignity when you have deprived him of his self-respect? God always restores this first. Later He says to stop sinning, lest something worse happen to you.

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