John 5:2-9 (MGI):
2 Now there was in Jerusalem there a certain pool of baptizing, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, and it had five porches in it.
3 And many people were lying in these [porches] who were sick and blind and lame and crippled and they were waiting for the movement of the water,
4 for an angel came down at various times to the pool and moved the water. And whoever would go down first after the movement of the water was healed [of] every pain that he had.
5 Now there was there a certain man who had had an infirmity [for] thirty-eight years.
6 Jesus saw this [man] who was lying [there] and knew that he had been [infirm] a long time. And he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?”
7 That sick man answered and said, “Yes, my Lord, but I have no one to place me in the pool when the water is moved. But before I go [down], another comes down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, pick up your bed and walk.”
9 And immediately that man was healed and he rose up, picked up his bed and walked. And that same day was the Sabbath.
When we were at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, it was very deep, even though there is little water in it now. You could see that there could have been porches and places to sit all along the edge of the pool. There was also a section where our guide said that the water would come up from an underground spring and the water would move. Evidently at that time there was a belief that whoever would go down first into this moving water would be healed.
I was wondering as we were reading that record, why it was that Jesus went straight to that particular man to ask him if he wanted to be healed when there were probably plenty of other people there that needed healing. You could say simply that Jesus knew by revelation which one was ready to believe. But I thought of an interesting idea of WHY he was ready to believe. He had been waiting for the moving of the water and every time he couldn’t get there fast enough. Don’t you think he was probably sick of waiting, knowing that it was nearly impossible for him to be the first one?
He answers with a kind of standard statement of the reason why he is not healed. I think it is equivalent to the times when we say…”the doctor said,” or “this is what is going on with me, I have xxxx.” Some times when there is a chronic illness, time goes by and we have developed a habit of “sitting by the pool” and put up with our sickness.
I am not being critical here, because every one of us has sat by the pool at some point in our lives! But what does Jesus say? “Rise up and walk!” He said to look outside of the box for a new answer, press in for deliverance. It was a command and it startled the man so much, he just did it. He got up! He left the accepted and acceptable answers and left the habits and got up. He got tired of being sick and tired!
Jesus Christ made healing of ALL our sicknesses available. If we look to worldly answers, then we will continue to sit by the pool. But if we obey the command regarding our situation, then we will be healed. God is faithful and will not play favorites in healing one and not another. Let’s encourage each other to rise up and walk!