Today I saw an ambulance with lights flashing on the way to the hospital. As the vehicles passed me I noticed that the scripture reference John 5:13 was written above the back door. This evening I looked up the reference. It says “But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there”. One Sabbath day in Jerusalem Jesus met a sick man who was lying near the pool of Bethsaida hoping someone would put him in the waters so that when the waters were stirred he might experience their magical healing effects.
That might seem silly but if you have been sick 38 years like this man had you will cling to any hope you can find. Jesus encountered the man and asked him a simple question, “Do you want to get well?” without answering the question the man gave both an excuse and an explanation that since he had no one to put him in the water that someone else always got in the pool ahead of him and thus received the benefit of the stirring waters. Without arguing the man’s reasoning’s and without discussing the effects of the waters Jesus simply looked at this man who had been sick for 38 years and told him “pick up your mat and walk”. Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk. Without saying or doing anything else Jesus slipped away into the crowd and the man who was healed did not even know who it was that healed him.
I suppose there are several reasons why Jesus slipped away into the crowd unnoticed. Certainly He had other things to do and other people to engage. Maybe He did not want to hang around and listen to the complaints and the questions of the Jews as to why He had healed a man on the Sabbath. For Jesus discussing rules concerning when and how and where one could do good deeds was a fruitless and senseless endeavor. Jesus simply went about doing good and ignored man made illegalities. Perhaps there is another reason Jesus slipped away into the crowd after healing the man. Jesus had come to seek and to save the lost. He had come to serve not to be served. Jesus was not interested in receiving accolades. He wanted the attention not upon himself but on miracle of a sick man made well and the grace of God that had made it possible.
If we wish to be faithful servants of Christ we need to not be positioning ourselves hanging around in order to receive praise and credit. Like Jesus we need to do good and then slip away into the crowd unnoticed.