Daily Devotional for January 22
January 22 John 5:2-18
Loving God, it has always bothered me that the man in today's
Scripture reading "ratted" on Jesus. The healed man revealed
Jesus's identity to the Jewish authorities, knowing well their
intent to persecute Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. Little
wonder that this paralyzed man had no one to put him in the
pool when the water was stirred; the ungrateful wretch
probably had made few, if any, friends!
When charged by the Jewish officials with an offense against
the Sabbath, the healed man exonerated himself by shifting
responsibility to his healer. After being cured of a thirty-eight-
year illness, the ignorant ingrate did not even bother to find
out the name of the person who had made him well again.
He sounds like a rascal, a really unlovable fellow.
Gracious God, there are people I find unlovable and unattrac-
tive. They are often society's rejected and disposable ones:
the derelicts, the sick, and the poor. Some are socially
acceptable but are simply unappealing to me. Help me respond
to all these people with the respect and compassion you
showed. Instead of ignoring them, let me firmly suggest what
might contribute to their own enhancement and enable them
to claim their own dignity. Help me to befriend the friendless.
In many ways I am like that pitiful rascal at the pool of
Bethesda. Often I don't want to assume responsibility for my
own actions, especially when the results are less than desirable.
May I not excuse my own failures or unwanted outcomes
beyond my control by blaming others. Help me to be grateful
for the support I receive from friends and never hurt them
by any inadvertent words or actions.
Dearest God, I pray that today I may recognize the man at the
pool of Bethesda in myself and love him in others. Amen.
I don't think of him as ungrateful, but just so full of joy at
finally being healed that he wasn't thinking about anything else.
My guess is that he was obligated to answer the question, like
we would be in court. L.M. 1/19/2015]
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989