Read John 5
The few parking spaces in front of my college dorm were among the most coveted on our part of campus. Whoever wasn’t lucky enough to snag them had to walk an extra five minutes to get to his or her car, which according to college standard time was an eternity due to needing every last possible minute for sleeping or finishing an assignment. So when my suite-mate finally grabbed one, she did not move her car for an entire two weeks. She didn’t want to lose her good parking spot, so she walked everywhere. Ironic, huh? Because why would she need a good parking spot if she was never going to use her car? If you asked me, she missed the whole point of having a good parking space.
The Jews of the day in John 5 seem to have devoted their entire lives to missing the point. It’s telling that this man whom Jesus healed spent 38 years lying on a mat near the pool called Bethesda. It was right next to the Jerusalem gate through which these same Jews would have walked their live sacrifices on their way to the altar. Undoubtedly, they would have seen the paralyzed man even as they set forth to worship the One True God. It was as if these men made a living out of not seeing what they should have. They prided themselves on noticing every detail of the Law, yet missed the whole point.
So when Jesus healed the same man at the pool of Bethesda, it’s not surprising that these Jews missed that too. Oh, they saw what had happened. But they were so caught up in their own definition of law and life, that they missed the Real Thing even as He worked His mighty hand right under their noses. So they missed the man and saw only his mat. They missed the miracle and saw only an infraction of the Law.
What might we be missing for lack of trusting only Jesus for real life? What John recorded here in chapter 5 applies to us as much as it did to those who heard Jesus that day in Jerusalem.
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life . . . he has crossed over from death to life (v24).
Are we living like what He said is true? Hearing and believing His word, we have crossed over. Let’s not miss the point of trusting Jesus. Now we can truly live!