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Lenten Devotional: March 19, 2024

by Peggy Reynolds, Director for the Counseling Center

The Scriptures offer a number of stories describing the efforts people made seeking healing from Jesus. Each demonstrated “great faith” in Jesus’ ability to heal. A few of these stories stand out in my mind:

Jarius, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying (Luke 8:41-56).

A woman who had been suffering with bleeding for twelve years reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, and immediately her bleeding stopped (Luke 8:43-48).

Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus (Mark 2:3-11).

Jesus agreed to go to a Roman centurion’s house (a Gentile officer) and heal the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7: 1-10).

And yet, there is one story that suggests Jesus’ willingness to heal even one of little faith and full of excuses. “The man at the Pool of Bethesda” in Jerusalem where a multitude of invalids (blind, lame, paralyzed) lay hoping to receive healing from waters stirred by angel wings. They believed the first to step in after the waters bubbled from the touch of the angel wings would receive that healing.

John 5: 5-18: One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

As the man argued for his limitations, Jesus wasted little time and got to the point, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. As we continue to read the rest of the story, Jesus had a purpose for this healing of the “undeserving man” as he has been referred to in commentaries.

Prayer: Lord, the days of Lent offer a time of self-reflection and preparation. Help me reflect on the “Yes, but…” in my life. When Jesus offers spiritual and physical healing, please reveal to me the “Yes, but… limitations” for which I am putting between myself and Your purpose for my healing. Help me take the action of accepting Your invitation.


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