#24: “DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?”
(AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA)
Spring, A. D. 29, the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, Judea.
Underneath five covered porches, sick, blind and paralyzed people had gathered around the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. Some people have been healed here, so they all hope to be healed - perhaps today. A lame man there has watched his life wasting before him. For 38 years he has been unable to walk. His dreary life drags on.
During the time of a Jewish festival, Jesus comes to the pool and approaches this man, asking him,
“Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6b) The lame man looks up at him. “Maybe this man can help me”, he hopes. He replies,
“I want to get into the pool and be healed after the angel stirs it up, but someone else always reaches the pool first.”
“Get up, pick up your mat, and walk”, Jesus tells him.
The man makes an effort to rise up. Then he feels the power of God coming into his legs and feet, making him whole! With a smile he leaps up joyfully, and reaches down and grabs his mat and walks away.
Messianic Prophecy Fulfilled:
(Given 710 B. C.)
“And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
Be strong, do not fear! Behold, Your God will come . . . and save you . . .
Then the lame shall leap like a deer . . .”
(Isaiah 35:3b, 4b, d, 6a, NKJV)
Soon, Jewish leaders see this man carrying his pallet around. They rebuke him, protesting,
“Hey, you! This is the Sabbath! I can’t believe you are carrying your bed around! What do you think you are doing, violating the holy day?”
“A man came and healed me and told me to pick up my pallet and walk.”
“I don't know”, the man honestly replies.
Later, Jesus sees this man in the temple precincts. He goes up to him and forewarns him, “See, you are well! Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you” (John 5:14b, AMP). For the admonition of the Lord is, “Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7b-8, NKJV). Now, the man recognizes Jesus. As soon as he leaves Jesus' presence, he goes and informs the religious leaders that it was Jesus who healed him.
Again, religious leaders are ready to object to God's works of love and compassion that He works through His Son. They are angry with Jesus because he did this on the Sabbath. They are not happy that the poor man can finally walk; they are only concerned about their rules about the Sabbath. However, Jesus gave the man a Sabbath rest and deliverance from the torment and struggle of a crippled condition.
Comments: This lame man, before Jesus healed him, had gotten to the place where he had quit trying. The breakthrough was always for someone else; not for him. He had tried and he could not help himself to walk. But when Jesus becomes part of the picture, everything changes. When Jesus comes into someone’s life, things that were impossible become possible. Jesus empowers us to do the next right thing. Jesus helped this man to get up and get going and in 2019 God will empower us to go forward in His plan for our lives.
“I will go in the strength of the Lord God;” (Psalm 71:16a, NKJV) Sometimes I have to say that to myself: “I will go in the strength of the Lord, my God.” As we:
trust in the Lord with all our hearts,
lean not on our own understanding
and acknowledge Him in all our ways,
He will direct our paths and empower us to walk in His good plans for our lives (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Note: much of this devotional is from The Life of Jesus Foretold, pages 119-121.