Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Literally mocking a crippled dude

Another blog post, for reals this time. In Germany, the staff went through the first few chapters of John over the course of the camp. When we got to John 5, I winced a little, because I had a good idea of what was coming. We read John 5:1-15, which is the story of the crippled dude who had been at the pool for 38 years, trying to get in and get healed. Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed, and the man says, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps in before me." At least 3 or 4 times, when I have been in a study where we read this passage, the person leading it asks, in a particularly leading voice, what the man's answer was. After a couple people point out that he didn't actually answer "yes, I want to be healed," someone starts "rephrasing" his answer in a very whiny voice: "well, it's just so hard, and I can never get into the pool and everyone always goes in front of me." And everyone laughs. This has happened, as I said, multiple times, and you may also have experienced it.

Are you freaking kidding me? Mocking a disabled guy? If you have read the passage in this manner, you have literally been making fun of a crippled guy--for being crippled. This man is an "invalid." Since Jesus commands him to take up his bed and walk, it is almost certain that he is paralyzed, lacking the use of his legs. He cannot walk. And he has been waiting at the pool for thirty eight years.

The whole reason someone points out his answer is so that they can say that he doesn't really want to get well. That he's just making excuses for why he hasn't already gotten better. Again: are you freaking kidding me? The fact that he has been at the pool for 38 years is testimony enough to his desire to get better. 38 years. 13,870 days. And why hasn't he been able to get into the pool? Because he's paralyzed! He literally cannot walk. He is not whining when he tells Jesus why he has been unable to get into the pool. He is stating the plain facts of the matter, without embellishment.

Lastly: if he was whining, and if he didn't really want to get better, Jesus wouldn't have healed him. When people say the wrong thing to Jesus, he lets them know. When they say the right thing to him, he rewards them. Please stop making fun of the crippled dude. Thank you.


  1. Haha Mackenzie I like your words so much

  2. Elisa! Been a while! How's life? And thanks, I'm glad.