By Ellen Hierl

Several years ago the question, “What would Jesus do?” was common in Christian circles as a challenge to guide our day-to-day interactions. It’s a great question and frankly, one that is very hard to live up to. All too often I find myself being impatient or self-serving, characteristics that are definitely not in keeping with WWJD.

Recently, while traveling in China, I came face-to-face with a situation that made me question what Jesus would do in this situation. 

Support services for people with disabilities are not the same everywhere.

In China, they are just starting to develop disability services.  For many people there who have disabilities, their only means of support is begging. On a number of occasions, I met some of these people as I was walking in the evening. It was clear that the need was great. The people I saw were very thin, clothed in rags and often covered with sores. The crowds walking past them were the exact opposite. Yes, we dropped some money into their cups but the need is far greater than what one tourist can provide.

As my husband and I discussed what we should do, we contemplated John 5 and Christ’s response to the needs of the people at the Pool of Bethesda. Most often when we hear this story, we focus on the man Christ healed but what about the other people who were there? John 5:3 states that a great number of people with varying needs were present.  What did Jesus do for all of the others? Scripture does not tell us Christ healed them all.  In fact, it implies he only healed the one person.

  • So, what is our role when we are faced with the overwhelming needs of people with disabilities?
  • Is Christ’s example at the Pool of Bethesda relevant?
  • Do we focus on one person while leaving others behind?

Personally, I believe Christ brings into my life the people I am called to serve.

If I look at the great need of so many, it feels hopeless. How can I, as one person, make a difference? But if I know one person or a few and can focus on meeting their needs, I do make a difference. Will you join me in making a difference in the life of the people God places in your path?

What do you think?

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