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12 Days of Meditation - Day 9: “Grace Unbound: Embracing Mercy for a Fresh Start”

January 9, 2024, 12:00 AM



“Grace Unbound: Embracing Mercy for a Fresh Start”

Read: John 5:1-15

By: Deborah L. Parker (Rhema Scholar)


In the selected passage for today, Jesus heals a man who had been suffering from an infirmity for 38 years. This man is laying at the pool of Bethesda.


Jesus visited the pool which was in Jerusalem near the sheep gate. When Jesus arrives at the pool, Jesus approached the disabled man and asked him if he wanted to be made whole.


At this pool, it was believed that an angel would stir the waters, and the first person to enter the pool when the water was stirred would be healed. The man explained that he had no one to help him into the pool when the water was stirred, and as a result, others would get in before him.


Jesus instructed the man to then rise, take his mat, and walk. Immediately the man was healed. He picked up his mat and walked.


This miracle story highlights that Jesus has compassion and miraculous healing power, and it demonstrates his ability to bring instant and profound change in the lives of those who believe in him. This passage of healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda illustrates the theme of grace and mercy in several different ways.


1.       Compassion for the Afflicted: Jesus showed so much compassion for the man who had been suffering for 38 years. Despite the man’s inability to reach the water, Jesus approached him and offered healing without the man asking for it. This act of compassion reflects God’s grace which is freely given, even when we don’t deserve it or when we don’t ask for it.

2.       No Conditions for Healing: Unlike the tradition at the pool of Bethesda where healing was based on being the first into the water when it was stirred, in this story, Jesus didn’t require any action or condition from the man. God’s grace doesn’t depend on our efforts or our works, it was and is freely given out of love and mercy.

3.       Unknown Identity of Jesus: The man did not initially know who Jesus was. Despite this, Jesus still healed him without any prior recognition or acknowledgment. This healing story reveals how the grace of God is extended to everyone, regardless of our awareness and acknowledgment of Him.


Today let’s be grateful that we all have an opportunity to experience the grace and mercy of God which gives us a Fresh Start.