Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pool of Bethesda

Bethesda North Hospital has been my home base for the past week. There have been ups and downs, but I've been so blessed to be with my Mom through it all. 

So I'm here. At a hospital named after the famous pool in Scripture. So today, let's talk about the pool and the man whose life was changed because of his encounter with Jesus at that spot.

In John 5, a detailed account of the Pool of Bethesda is given.

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 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. 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?’ ‘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.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’ But he replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’ The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.” (John 5:1-15)

I love John’s detail of the actual pool. Its location. Its name. Its design. Its use. The only real useful information in the first few verses of this passage is the use of the pool. For healing. And that is where Jesus wound up for an unusual healing moment.

The man Jesus encountered didn’t know who Jesus was. This man jumped on the chance to be healed, but he assumed that Jesus would stick around to lower him into the pool. But that wasn’t the case.

Jesus told the man to get up. At once the man was healed. And Jesus slipped away into the crowd. What a marvelous gift was given to this once crippled man. The ability to lead a normal life.

From this point forward, he wouldn’t need assistance for anything. He could become independent. He could do as he pleased. To do. To go. To be.

That was an important part of this story, but most definitely not the most important part. Jesus met up with the man later on and gave him an even greater gift. The gift of forgiveness. The gift of salvation. The gift of eternal life.

Once again, the man could do, go or be anything he wanted, but now with a greater purpose. To tell others of the man who had healed him and forgiven his sins.

If you are lying by the pool, just waiting for spiritual healing, look to Jesus. He’s standing there waiting for you to look to Him. Perhaps it’s time for you to say “yes” to the Great Physician.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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