John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
We hang out at the pool to catch some rays, beat the heat and to see and be seen. But the pools of Bethesda (chapter 5) and Siloam were places of healing for two men, one crippled, one blind.
Bethesda means "house of mercy" and Siloam means "sent."
Jesus "passed by" where the needy hung out, that's where He could do the work of God. Sure, the church office has its share of ministry going on. That is where some serious study of God's Word takes place. But it is out among the people where needs are exhibited and met, in these cases, near the pools.
We have a corner in our town where all the city buses stop. It is the transfer stop. There, you will find humanity in its most interesting manifestations. People ride the bus for many reasons. Some folks just don't drive cars. Either, they never have, can't afford to, or possibly have lost their license. What a colorful and diverse place this bus stop is. That is an understatement. The conversations, exchanges and interactions which take place among these interesting people will curl your toes in your boots!
This is the kind of place Jesus would probably pass by if He visited our town. It is very near a large church. Needs are abundant among this particular crowd. Healing of minds, emotions, spirits and bodies would be a full time job on this corner.
Honestly, I tend to avoid that side of the street. Like the religious travelers of the Good Samaritan story, I usually pass by across the street. Being accosted by the sights and smells and dispositions of these less fortunate folks offends my senses.
Not Jesus! On His way to and from the temple during this time He spent in Jerusalem, He made sure to pass by the pools of beggars, cripples, deaf and blind. Needs are met where the needy meet.
What to do? I feel like I am being “sent” to show some “mercy.” I am going to close my laptop, grab a handful of gospel tracts and head off to where the needy congregate. Who knows what might develop? Well, God does, of course.