One More Thought
As I’m starting to draft the sermon, I had this thought: Jesus appears and disappears.
In John 4, Jesus is in Samaria, in the north, where he has a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well that astonishes his disciples and leads to a kind of healing for her. The disciples explicitly do not say to her, “What do you want?”
Then Jesus goes to Galilee, where he heals the son of a Royal official. It’s not clear whether the official is a Jew or a Gentile but he certainly is not the sort of supporter we’ve seen around Jesus.
Finally, he goes down to Jerusalem for an unnamed festival, where he has the encounter at the Pool of Bethesda with the paralytic.
After the healing, Jesus disappears into the crowd; the healed man doesn’t know who he is and has a controversy with some Jews. This same pattern is found in the story of the man born blind healed by Jesus at John 9.
Jesus finds the man in the temple, the man testifies subsequently about the healing and Jesus and the sabbath violation becomes part of the reason for Jesus’ arrest.