The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda-John 5:1-15
Updated: May 23
The breeze swept through the marble colonnades giving us all a bit of relief from the dry, hot sun, but no reprieve from my aches and sores; I just sat wasting away with a meaningless life. Day after day, I counted the sheep as they entered into the Sheep Gate near the pool of Bethesda. Their life seemed better than mine, for they were free to move around and graze to their hearts’ content. Although their lives would end quickly for the use of a sacrifice at the temple, they would be spared the cruelty of sitting in the same spot day after day waiting for the water to swirl in the pool of Bethesda. It has been thirty-eight years since I could last walk. I spent years in debauchery and sin, and it caught up to me with disease and even greater loss of my family. Lonely and without a soul who cares about me, I sat day after day waiting to die because I could never move fast enough to get into the hopefully healing waters of the pool when it happened to swirl.
I felt a soft tap of acknowledgement, and I looked up into the warm and friendly eyes of a kind young man who was desiring to speak with me. The cool marble floors and steps down into the pool were riddled with people like me desiring to be healed and just too weak to speak. It was unusual to be spoken to. He gently asked, “ Do you want to get well?”
“Sir, 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.”
The kind stranger answered, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” I felt a strange swelling surge in my legs and throughout my body. Energized with the sensation, I got up, picked up my mat, walked forward, and started to run up and down the steps. Thrilled with incomprehensible joy, I was beside myself patting and feeling my now strong legs gone of all Sores! Looking up to thank him, the kind man was gone.
I ran straight to the temple desiring to thank the God who heard my pleas and found favor in my prayers. I was there for hours, but it felt like mere minutes. My appreciation and joy and gratitude toward God for “seeing me” in my lonely, lowly state could not be repaid. Then suddenly, the kind man reappeared in the midst of a crowd. He saw me and gently said, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” He was certainly a man of God who knew of my decadent past, and yet he granted me a second chance of life.
I learned that the God I serve is a God of second chances, and third and fourth and fifth and so on chances as long as I am seeking to be touched by Him to be changed. Don’t waste any part of your life by suffering consequences of sin that can disable you; pour out your heart to be heard by God and save yourself from deep heartache.
Question for Reflection:
Do you ever feel alone in the world with no one to understand you but God and then question whether God loves you and has favor upon your life?
Can you pinpoint a time this has occurred and can you report how God was doing a work that whole time and you grew from it? Or do you feel you are still in this spot and desire prayer....allow the person next to you to come alongside you and be Jesus' arms, and mouthpiece. YOU ARE LOVED!
Do we tend to solve our problems the world's way or do we seek God first for the path to take and the touch He may have for us? We build our spiritual muscles when we see the effects of faith work. Each little answered prayer teaches us to rely on Him for the big prayers. How much do you think you can improve with going to God and what has happened when you didn't go to Him? How much longer did you suffer?
This man was doing what the world said to do when in need of healing, and that is to sit by the hot springs of Bethesda. What the world suggested didn’t help. What did help was his prayers. We know this man was one who spoke to God for he went to the temple after his healing.
The scripture states that Jesus came upon the man and knew he was there for 38 long years, similar to when he met the disciple Nathaniel for the first time and said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.”
NathanaeI responded, “ How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
We understand that Jesus knew this invalid’s heart too. The man sat in lonely silence unable to move, and being unclean, no one would go near him lest they too became unclean. We know he was a Jew since he went later to the temple. This being said, the man must have prayed and called out to God. His prayers were heard and he was touched by God, but not before much sadness endured from his wayward life. We can learn from experience, and it doesn’t have to be our experience.
Be reminded of the promises to those who follow after His ways:
Psalm 23 states:
He will anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
We can avoid a lot of heartache by dwelling in the house of the Lord. Spending time with him, healing our issues and touching our lives with grace.
This man had two visits with Jesus. The one by the pool of Bethesda and one at the temple. The Lord met him in his distress and He met him in his praise.
We too can expect to meet and be touched when we have needs and are in distress, and we can expect to meet him and be filled with joy when we are praising him with thanksgiving for what we do receive.
Psalm 77:1 I cried out to God with my voice- to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. On the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.
Psalm 105:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the people! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him, Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His Holy name, Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face forever more! Remember the wonders He has done and miracles!
Read as the account as it is recorded in the Bible: