Monday, December 10, 2012

Gospel Devotions: A Wee Clype - John 5:15

John 5:15       The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

He was sneaky. Absolutely sneaky and completely ungrateful. In Scotland, we used to have a word for a person like that: ‘clype’. It was the worst name that you could ever be called. If somebody at school or in the playground was called a wee clype, then he or she was instantly shunned by the rest of the class. Tell-tale, tattle-tale, or tale bearer were relatively mild compared to clype. To be a clype was to be the lowest and meanest person on the planet. It was to be avoided at all costs.

But some people like to get others into trouble. Take this person who has been healed by Jesus in the Gospel passage (John 5:1-15). Jesus has cured him of his paralysis, but instead of being thankful and delighted, he appears to be resentful and somewhat ungrateful. He even goes later in the day to find the religious authorities, in order to tell them who healed him on the Sabbath. He is a tale bearer of the worst kind: he is a wee clype.

Other people who are healed by Jesus are normally ecstatic and exuberant about being cured. They want to tell the whole world about Jesus in order to share their joy and celebrate His goodness. This appears to be the only occasion in the gospels where a cured person actually betrays Jesus in order to get Him into trouble. Instead of glorifying Christ, he seeks to humiliate Him. Rather than being grateful, the cured man is totally unthankful.

Every day, Christ guides us and takes care of our prayers, therefore our daily response should be one of complete thankfulness. Are we?

Questions for personal reflection

In what recent situations has Jesus helped me? Have I been truly grateful for His intervention?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, You are meant to be at the center of our lives during good times and bad times. In the midst of our present issues and complications, grant us Your guidance and allow us Your grace. Keep us mindful, as well as thankful, of Your mercy, healing, and love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment about today’s message or ask a question, please send John an email to

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