H2O (part 5 of 8)

2016 04-April 12 (18)


The Gospel of John has more symbolism than the other Gospels combined. John forcefully uses bread, light, and water – all elements necessary for human life – to teach us that Christ alone is at the core of our being. Without food, water, and light, then we are without Christ.


In several consecutive chapters of John, the use of water is powerful. The following paragraphs can be used a devotional meditations during Advent or, as illustrated, during Lent. They can be used to bookend a week of meditations with the first and last used as sermon material and the middle ones as material to be read during the week.


John 5:6-9 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

  • Jesus went to Jerusalem several times and probably passed the Pool of Bethesda because it is near the temple. The legend was that when the waters of the pool stirred then the first person in would be healed. In all the years of being at the pool, this made had never been healed – we have no idea of how many times he’d tried to get into the water first. He believed with all his heart that the water would heal him.
  • The man does not respond to Jesus’ question – he explains why he hasn’t been healed but he does not say whether or not he wants to be healed. And then Jesus doesn’t address what the man is saying, either. They are having separate conversations with each other about the same subject.
  • While the man is waiting on the water to heal him, Jesus acts. God is not waiting on nature or humanity but instead God has his own time. We may want miracles in the same way that happened before but God isn’t limited to repeating his work.
  • In this case, the man was constrained by his belief in the water. How many times do we put our confidence not in God but in materialistic or financial things? Often God doesn’t use what humans put their trust in. How, specifically, are you trusting in God to provide for your needs (not wants) as opposed to believing things will take care of you?


Water is essential to our lives. Living water is essential to our souls.


Lead On!