In the city of Jerusalem in biblical times was a pool of water called Bethesda that seemed to have healing properties. The Bible says that one day Jesus had a conversation with a man there who had been an invalid for 38 years.
“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked. The man replied “I have no one to help me into the pool.” Jesus then side-stepped the ritual and healed the man on the spot, without him having to go into the pond at all.
Being plagued with any type of infirmity is a sad state of affairs. Having no friends to see you through such a time makes it even worse. In this case, Jesus Himself came to the rescue eventually, which I suppose is the nugget that many preachers and teachers would point out in the story. But I can’t help thinking of the 38 years of loneliness and waiting, and how they may have been just a little more bearable if this man had been able to share life with one or two other human beings.
Yes, the Christian journey is largely about encounters with God’s Son. Encounters with the brothers and sisters of God’s Son make the times in between those supernatural appointments all the better. (And sometimes those are supernatural themselves … a topic for another day.)