In John 5, we are told of Jesus healing a man at the pool called Bethesda, in Jerusalem. The beautiful thing about this miracle is the subtlety with which it is portrayed.
John 5: 1-9
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
This was a pool that was known to have “healing powers”. It apparently was true as the bible gives us the very account of an angel “stirring the water” at certain seasons.
Since we know that angels only operate at the command of God, we can say that it was God’s healing power that was upon this water and the people knew this. Which was why they waited for the water to be “stirred”. Then, when they rushed in to receive the healing and whoever got there first was in fact healed.
Now enters Jesus and he is having a conversation with this man who had an infirmity for 38 years. According to the text, this infirmity affected his mobility. That is why he needed help getting into the water when it was stirred. Hence, his response to Jesus about not having anyone put him in the pool.
What a sad and desperate predicament, wouldn’t you say?
Here is this pool of water, the source of his healing. So close that he can touch it. Yet, he can’t touch it as a result of his infirmity. The same infirmity he wants to be cured of is also the very barrier to his cleansing.
Now, I’d like us to pay attention to verses 6 and 7.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Jesus, knowing why the man was there, did not ask him if he needed help getting into the pool. Instead, he asks him “Wilt thou be made whole?” To which the man – not knowing who Jesus was or what Jesus could do – answered in reference to the pool. The only source of healing he knew of.
Can you see where this is going?
How often do we, even though we are followers of Christ, seek “the healing of the pool”, when we should be seeking Christ Himself to make us whole?
Jesus did not ask the man if he wanted to be healed of his particular infirmity. He asked if he desired to me make “whole”.
Not a repair of a part. A restoration of the whole!
We are supposed to come to Christianity seeking Jesus. After all Jesus Himself said:
“ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” John 6:44
But when we get here, we take our eyes of the Christ who called us and start following after “pools of healing; showers of blessing; promises for worldly prosperity” and we lose sight of Jesus Christ!
Who in His very Life is contained “healing, blessing, prosperity.”
We don’t need the pools when we have Jesus!
We don’t need the showers when we have Jesus!
We don’t need the promises when we have Jesus!
Every day, He reminds us of His calling and asks us “Will thou be made whole?”
Then, we answer Him, “I have no one to put me in the water.”
So we wait…While the way to wholeness stands right in front of us.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40
“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:26-27
Why do we continue to trust in the bread and not in The Bread Giver?
Why don’t we believe that Jesus, knowing Him and growing in Him, is enough?
Why don’t we believe that even though we don’t know how he will keep us, He WILL keep us, because He said He would?
Why do we struggle with loosening our “grip” on how we believe our lives are supposed to be and just surrender our lives to Jesus and allow Him to use our lives for the will of The Father?
Why do we insist on shows of His power for us when, we can have His power in us?
Why do we insist on bits and pieces of Jesus when we can have the whole of Jesus?
In us. Re-making our lives. For His glory.
“ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Christ Seeker, Jesus is asking you today:
“Wilst thou be made whole”?
Unlike the sick man at the pool, you KNOW what Jesus can do.
So, will you say “Yes, Lord. I desire that You make me whole.”
Or will you continue to seek your blessings from the pool when the Lord chooses to stir it?
May we continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.