Sink or Swim

As you read this post, I will probably be relaxing in the mineral rich waters of the thermal springs in Moree. Over the past couple of days I have already enjoyed the hot 39 degree pool and then transferred my reddened, mineral infused body to the balmy 37 degree waters. I have heard many stories of long term healing of people who have immersed themselves in these pools. Some of these visitors have been coming here for therapeutic soaks for over 20 years and feel greatly improved after their immersions. As I look around and observe the vast array of levels of mobility, various shapes and sizes and difference in ages, it seems that most of these people believe they are here to gain some physical, and perhaps emotional benefit. I wonder whether they have given any thought to their spiritual health.

The John 5 reading describes a pool like the one we have been enjoying, complete with the colonnades. As yet, I haven’t seen any disturbance of the water which would suggest it is time to be the first to dive in for healing.

Jesus knew the disabled man lying next to the pool needed healing, both in body and soul. It is great to read of the man’s complete faith in this stranger and without question, picked up his mat and walked. He had no knowledge of who Jesus was but certainly benefited from Jesus’ compassion. His actions showed that his body had been healed but not his heart or soul. Jesus’ later words to him, “See you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to” you tell us that this man had only understood the opportunity he had been given to be healed from his physical afflictions. It seems he may not have understood that he had also been offered the gift of eternal life.

Jesus had selected this man, loved him, healed him and given him his freedom. How would the people who come to Moree react in the same situation?

In our self-absorbed society of instant gratification I suspect these travellers would be grateful for the immediate physical healing. I suspect they too would not feel the need for anything else.

How do we react each day when we consider what Jesus has already done for us? Like the disabled man, we too can be grateful for Jesus’ actions but really, how fantastic it is to be able to rejoice in the fact that we are loved by the Creator of the universe!

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One thought on “Sink or Swim

  1. Thank you Iris. This is one of those stories that I remember from childhood. There are lots of opinions about this story. Some say that the lame man always had an excuse. I just feel sorry for him. I love the compassion that Jesus showed towards him. Here is another example of physical healing but no change in the heart. Much like the 10 lepers where only one came back to thank Jesus. I also like the King James version of the question that Jesus asks him. He said,”Do you want to be whole?” When lives have been changed because of Jesus there is a change of the heart. He changes from the inside out. And its over time that we get to see the fruit of this change. Thats why the Bible teaches not to put a new convert in any type of leadership position. Because time will tell how he/she is changing. If its a real work of the Holy Spirit or not. Jesus still met this man at his need. We can be tempted to love others with strings attached. But thats not the highest love that we are called to show. We are called to love unconditionally. May we love like Jesus loved others – even those most difficult to love.

    Luke 6:32

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