Last time I camped out in the Old Testament. Let’s switch over to the New Testament this time.
Let’s read John 5: 1-15.
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?”
7 “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.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 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.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 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.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
This passage has always intrigued me. It seems to me from the passage that the water is stirred rather frequently. I used the NIV version originally. However, If we read in the King James version we find in verse 4, this little bit of information.
4 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.
It’s always good to read different translations, some will explain certain parts of the Bible better sometimes.
The thing that strikes me in this passage is that the guy had been lying there for 38 years and he tells Jesus he hasn’t been able to get anyone to help him into the pool. We know that the guy can talk just based on reading. Is it possible that he just got comfortable with his lifestyle of lying there doing nothing? Was he secretly afraid of having to provide for himself after a long time of taking it easy? Was laziness the sin that Jesus was referring to when He tells the man to stop sinning the second time they see each other? These are questions that I can’t find direct answers to in scripture. However, I did some digging and realized that since he was paralized, he wouldn’t have any control over his excretory system. (Burge, Gary) That would make it less attractive for the others around to help him. Nevertheless Jesus heals the man, giving him what he needs, in spite of the man’s hangups. It didn’t matter to Jesus that he was healing on the Sabbath and making the Pharasees upset (healing was considered work to them and you couldn’t do that on the Sabbath according to thier many rules) It doesn’t even occur to the man to ask Jesus to heal him. We don’t even know if the man recognized Jesus for who He really was because he initially calls him “sir.” Another name for Bethesda is House of Mercy (Spurgeon) and that man was certainly shown a good amount of mercy that day.
This same mercy is available to us as well. There are days where we ourselves are in a similar predicament. We may feel called to do something for God, but we may not feel like it at the time, but the Lord is patient with us and gives us the strength to do good things for Him, no matter how big or small they might seem to us. We dont know what became of the man after the healing, but we do know that he was happy to tell people of what Jesus had done for him.