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March 29, 2022

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DG BookGospel: John 5:1-16
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now, by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there is a pool
(called Bethzatha in Hebrew) surrounded by five galleries. In these galleries lay a multitude of sick people: blind, lame and paralyzed.
(All were waiting for the water to move, for at times an angel of the Lord would descend into the pool and stir up the water;

and the first person to enter the pool, after this movement of the water, would be healed of what- ever disease that he had.)
There was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him, and because he knew how long this man had
been lying there, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” And the sick man answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the
pool when the water is disturbed; so while I am still on my way, another steps down before me.” Jesus then said to him, “Stand up, take your mat
and walk!” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his mat and walked. Now that day happened to be the Sabbath. So the Jews said
to the man who had just been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and the law doesn’t allow you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The
one who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk!’” They asked him, “Who is the one who said to you: Take up your
mat and walk?” But the sick man had no idea who it was who had cured him, for Jesus had slipped away among the crowd
that filled the place. Afterward Jesus met him in the temple court and told him, “Now you are well; don’t sin again, lest something worse happen
to you.” And the man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. So the Jews persecuted Jesus because he
performed healings like that on the Sabbath.

 

Reflection:

 

“Flooding” or “in-vivo exposure” is a behavioral
modification technique used by some therapists to treat
some phobias. The patient is flooded with the stimulus that
causes anxiety, so as to create desensitization and mastery.
Jesus does this sort of hitting where it hurts most when he
asks the paralyzed man to get up, take up the mat, and walk!
How on earth do you expect a man paralyzed for 38 years to do
so? The truth was: the man was more paralyzed in his will than
in his body. He lacked personal agency. Not that he was able to
move by himself into the pond; but when Jesus asked him a
straightforward question, “Do you want to be healed?”, instead
of answering with a resounding “Yes!”, he was wallowing in selfpity,
playing the blame game. Jesus ordered him to take
responsibility for himself and do the impossible. To the man’s
credit, he did!

 

 

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