Speaker: Rev. Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Date: April 2, 2017
Text: Red Letter Jesus: Do You Want To Get Well?
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids-blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" 7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed." 11 But he answered them, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, 'Take up your bed, and walk.' " 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." 
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 5:1-17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to help and to speak in the moments you have together; ask that we would all have hears to hear what the Spirit might say through the scripture. Pray the words of Psalm 119:17 - "Open our eyes that we might see wonderful things in your Law."
Have one or two in the group read the text aloud, encouraging all to read silently and listen prayerfully. After the reading offer a moment of general response asking (1) What details of the story resonate with you or stand out to you? (2) What questions does the story raise in your mind?
FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What do you think of Jesus' question in v. 6? What do you think Jesus might have been doing with this question?
2. Just as importantly, what do you think of the man's response in v. 7? How would you characterize his answer to Jesus? What might it tell us about him?
3. See verse 13. Why do you think Jesus "withdrew from the place?" John gives us an answer - but what is the significance of what John tells us?
4. What is the common thread that seems to tie verse 14 back to verse 6?
5. What do you think Jesus was saying to this man in verse 14? What might be worse than 38 years of "being an invalid?"
POSSIBLE LIFE APPLICATION POINTS. . .
1. What are the 'pools' that people are sitting by, waiting and hoping that somehow this pool will make them well, make their lives work?
2. Are there ways in which people become comfortable with their illness? Does the brokenness of life ever become the 'norm' that we accept?
3. What would a 38 year affliction do to a person's expectations and their sense of hope?
4. How can we come to "learn" or "know" of the stories of suffering that are around us?
Merciful God, we live our days waiting on something or someone that will make us whole. All the while you invite us to look to you for the wholeness we seek. Forgive our misguided searching. Forgive us for looking to you only as the means of some greater thing in which we have placed our hope. Pour out your grace that we might find help an healing in you alone, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.