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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Did the Living Water Find You?

The fifth chapter of the Gospel of John begins with a description of an invalid who encounters Jesus just outside the Sheep Gate leading to the magnificent Jewish temple on Mount Moriah . Jesus spoke to the man at the edge of a healing pool called “Bethesda” (ie., translated literally “House of Kindness”). Previous to this enconter, the destitute, crippled beggar had known neither kindness nor healing there.

  *   *   *

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

– John 5: 1…15

*   *   *

Did the Living Water Find You?

At Bethesda were you begging?

Were you lonely and in pain?

Near The Sheep Gate, were you dying?

Were you burdened and ashamed?


At Bethesda, were you yearning?

At the Sheep Gate, did you ache?

Were you mourning your condition1?

Was your heart about to break?


Did the Shepherd find you grieving?…

Destitute and paralyzed?

Did His kindness overwhelm you?

When you looked into His eyes?


Did the Living Water find you?

Did you trust in what you heard2?

Were you hopeless?....Were you helpless?

Were you healed, sir, by The Word?


Did He find you poor in spirit3?

Did He touch you?...Were you blessed4?

Did you leave that day rejoicing

In the peace of Sabbath Rest?


Did Messiah give you shelter5?

Was there healing in his wings6?

Were you baptized by The Spirit?

Could you hear the angels sing7?

* * *


Give us eyes to recognize, Lord,

We’re the cripple by the pool.

Take us to the Living Water…

That can cleanse and save… and rules.


Take us to the Cross of Calv’ry

So that we can know our sin….

Help us mourn our true condition8

So we may be born again9!


Help us trust the words of Jesus,

The incarnate Holy Word.

Sanctify our understanding

Where the Living Water’s stirred.



1     Matthew 5:4
Romans 10: 7
    Matthew 5:3
Matthew 5:3
Psalm 57:1
Malachi 4:2
7     Luke 15:7
8     Romans 3:10-20
9     John 3:3