One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When 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 ?”
John writes about a situation at the pool of Bethesda. Known to be a pool where healing occurs when the waters are stirred, stories were told of an angel that would stir the waters and whomever was first to go in would be healed. Jesus encounters a homeless and invalid man that was by the side of the pool for 38 years. He sees the man lying there, but before healing the man He found out some preliminary information about the man. He found out two preliminary things about this man, 1) The length of time he was there, and 2) Did he want to get well?
Homelessness in Hawaii has been an increasing challenge for the State of Hawaii. The numbers keep increasing and many adults and children are on our streets. Many different things were tried, but to date there is no clear solution for the homeless crisis. Here Jesus gives us some hints on where to start:
- Find out how long people have been homeless.
- Give them hope that they can be healed of the things the got them where they are.
- This may take many different steps, but that they know Jesus is the first step. I will have to do some research as to other steps to get the homeless off of the streets.
- Formulate a prayer team.
- Challenge the homeless to be different, change.
Lord Jesus, when you were physically here on earth, you were homeless too! Thank you for giving a model of how we are to treat the homeless here in Hawaii. It begins by loving You and loving our neighbors on the street. Help me to do my part in addressing this situation. Please give me some clear next steps in formulating a team and vision for the homeless that will bring a God back into the picture of caring for His people on the streets. Let me be a vessel for you!
Love you Lord, thank you for leaving your home in heaven, that we who choose you as Lord have an eternal home waiting, never to be homeless in eternity! Love you Lord, bring the harvesters to the homeless field. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
The above article is adapted from a sermon from New Hope Oahu’s Pastor Rod Shimabukuro. You can find the unabridged transcript, and the entire host of New Hope Sermons, here.