Lessons from the Pool – John 5, Part 3
Have you ever been overwhelmed by the need and desperation around you? One of the things God has been doing in my life during this season is to let me see the great physical and spiritual need around me occasioned by the pandemic. The anxiety and hopelessness I have been seeing is hard to describe. This can be very discouraging considering that a lot is being done by many individuals and organizations but the need still seems to be insurmountable.
What can one person, or one family or one church really do in the midst of all this great need? It seems like a drop in the ocean. However, the incident in John 5 reminds us of the importance of extending grace and mercy to even one person. There were multitudes of sick people in the Pool of Bethesda (which means a pool of mercy) when Jesus went there, but according to this story He helped only one person. Why didn’t He heal all of them? Only He can answer that question. This person didn’t even know who Jesus was and after being healed by Jesus he went and reported it to the people who wanted to kill Him. “How ungrateful!” we might think.
Lesson? We should never let the number of needy people overwhelm us so that we help none. It has been rightly said that, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” The secret is to do it one step at a time, one day at a time, and one soul at a time; whether it is convenient or not (like healing on a Sabbath – John 5:10), whether it is easy or hard, or whether they deserve it or not.
Who is God asking you to share your food with today, or to share the gospel with, or to extend undeserved kindness to, or to serve? Extend grace and mercy, serve and help, even if it is one person. And one day you will hear Jesus say this to you, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40, NLT)