What Jesus Did! 'You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me' — John 5:9-13

Thursday, March 31, 2022

But [Jesus healed the man by the pool of Bethesda] on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! The law doesn't allow you to carry that sleeping mat!"

But he replied, "The man who healed me told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'"

"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded. The man didn't know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.

— John 5:9-13 NLT

Key Thought

You don't know who healed you? You've been trying to get into the pool all these years and now that you are healed, you don't even know the name of the person who did it? Didn't you ask? Was it irrelevant to you? Even more, you want to blame him for your actions on the Sabbath? Come on, that's not the way other folks acted when Jesus healed them. Yes, Jesus did slip away in the crowd, but how did this man let that happen without finding out who he was? Here is a man who doesn't want to take responsibility or go out on a limb for anyone or anything. Here is a man with potentially a far greater testimony than the Samaritan woman at the well [1] but instead of sharing his story with others, he's still trying to dodge responsibility. "It's not my fault ... I don't know ..." And when he does finally learn the name of his healer, instead of saying "Thank you!" he turns him in to the authorities, as we will see in the next verses. [2] How sad! Which brings to mind a crucial question for us: Who or what am I in this "Jesus thing" for? Myself and what I want, or my Lord and what he wills?

[1] John 4.
[2] John 5:14-15.

Today's Prayer

Cleanse my heart, O God, and teach me to love what you love and despise what you despise.* Give me a heart to tell your story of grace in my life so others can know that Jesus is the one who has healed me through and through. I pray in his mighty name. Amen.

*The phraseology of the first sentence of this prayer was inspired by the end of the following verse from the song, "The Things God Loves" by Wayne Watson:

I'll be a friend to You
Move as the Spirit moves
Dance unrestrained with joy
Or welcome crying eyes

Bless as I have been blessed
Hunger for righteousness
Love all the things You love
And hate what You despise

Related Scripture Readings

  • Exodus 31:12-17
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15
  • Luke 14:1-6


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Illustration of John 5:9-13 NLT — "Who said such a thing as that?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.