Come On In! The Water's Fine! (part 1)
In this series, we are going to unpack a great story about Jesus and a crippled man who wanted to be healed. Here's the story, straight from the John 5:1-9:
5 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
This story from John tells of a man who is an invalid, laying beside the pool of Bethesda. He knew that from time to time, an Angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one to enter the pool when the water was beings stirred, that person would be healed. So there he laid, but he was unable to get in the pool on his own & there was no one around to help him. He was so close, yet so far away.
Let's stop for a moment to just picture this scene. People literally camped out around this pool because they believed the waters were stirred by an Angel of the Lord and that healing would happen in those waters. Do you think you would have had faith enough to park it by the pool's edge? I think my cynical mind would have kept me away -- scoffing at the small-minded, hopeful folks that were disappointed every time they missed their chance.
What I love about this scene is the fact that regardless of the healing... this place was a place of hope and faith. For 38 years this crippled man watched as others beat him to the pool. How discouraging, but this man didn't give up hope that at some point, it would be his time to be healed.
If you read the scripture above, you know that Jesus shows up on the scene and heals the man. He is able to walk after all those years of laying on the sidelines. I love the image of this playing out and I think it teaches several valuable lessons... which we will cover, but what I initially settle on is the idea that Jesus healed him. This poor guy expected for his healing to come in the same way all these other folks had experienced it -- getting into the pool. But Jesus had a different plan. How many times are we guilty of looking at how God answers prayers or works in another believer's life and we expect Him to show up in the same way. But God is multi-faceted. He is not limited to one way. He moves in the way He sees fit and in this story, Jesus healed in a different manner in order to give glory to God.
Stay tuned for the rest of this series!
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