Tuesday of the fourth week of Lent
The person lying by the pool of Bethseda rouses many questions in us. Why did Jesus ask him if he wanted to be healed? 38 years. He has been lying there for about 38 years. Did Jesus have to be so harsh on him.
Jesus asked him this because, in all these 38 years, he never got what he wanted. Did he make any attempt? Desiring alone wouldn’t matter. There was something missing. And Jesus questions his attitude. His attitude is evident in the post-healing episode. He never bothered to ask or know who cured him or anything like that. He was indifferent and took things for granted and expected things to happen than do what needed to be done. Jesus had to visit him again to remind him to discard a life of sin, a situation nowhere else recorded in the gospel.
Jesus extends his mercy to this man too. Although the man didn’t know him, Jesus reaches out to him, because he is compassionate and felt the man needed a spiritual healing than a physical healing. It needed to begin from physical healing. Unlike in other cases, here the physical healing precedes spiritual healing or the forgiveness of sins. Sometimes miracles happen not because someone believes, but because he has to brought to faith. Who can understand God’s ways.
The only thing that is clear is that God is ever merciful and his stream of mercy flows, making it available to everyone who are ready to experience it.