He had been there so long, lying beside the legendary pool, along with all the sick and frail that were waiting around Bethesda’s pool for the angel to come. He knew his chance of reaching the water before anyone else was almost impossible. Nevertheless, he had been sick for thirty-eight years and was desperate, even despite knowing the facts about the pool. There was only one pool. There would only be one angel to stir the water and no one knew when it would happen. He was aware of the fact that he had to be the first person into the water. He had to be the first one in because there would only be one healing.
His problem was insurmountable because he knew his affliction would slow any speedy movement toward the pool. He was dreadfully aware that the other people would not help him into the water, less they forfeit their opportunity to be healed. Even as he surveyed Bethesda, the source of recovery for him, he was overwhelmed with thoughts of despair.
From the despair of his deathbed, he heard a voice speaking to him. Looking up, he saw someone standing in front of him looking down at him with compassion in his eyes. What was it that the man had said to him? Did he say, “Wilt thou be made whole?”
He responded, “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.” The man spoke again with authority and declared, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” He didn’t know exactly why he reacted so quickly without questioning this man, but he got up anyway. He got up and immediately he was made whole and took up his bed and walked.
As he walked away from the pool with his sickbed under his arm, he was confronted by the Jews and told that it was unlawful to carry his bed on the Sabbath. “He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.” He remembered the question the man had asked him—he remembered what the man had told him to do and he knew he was healed. He knew he no longer needed the pool; he knew he no longer needed the people’s help and he knew his problem was gone. He also knew the first thing he was going to do was go to the temple to worship God because it was the Sabbath and it had been years since he had been there. This is where he found out that the Savior at the Spa was Jesus. He departed, found the Jews and told them that it was Jesus that had made him whole. It was Jesus, not the pool, which healed him of thirty-eight years of infirmities. It was Jesus, not the people that had helped him. He pondered all that had happened as he headed toward his home and family.
He had looked to several different things as his source for healing and help, when all he really needed was this man Jesus, who is the source of all things.
Pastor Hal Steenson