1 John 5:1-15
Amazingly, there was a pool that brought healing to the sick, blind, lame and paralyzed in Bethesda. At a certain time, an angel would come down and stir the water. When, the water was stirred, the first person into the water would be healed.
Jesus found a man by the water. This man had been sick for 38 years! Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be made well?" He replied, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
Jesuss said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."
The man had not even known that this man was Jesus himself until later. Jesus revealed Himself to the man again later where he said, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
I have heard this story told many times. The emphasis is always on the fact that Jesus healed or even that He did it on the Sabbath. The Jews that surrounded the man insulted him for taking up his bed and walking on the Sabbath.
I saw something completely different today in the story that I had not seen before. Obviously, there were others around this man. He was not alone. After his healing, Jesus dissappeared, and the man got up!! What happened next here? The Jews lectured the man on NOT being healed on the Sabbath.
All this time, this man had been waiting there by the water. He waited and waited after 38 years of his infirmity. Everytime he would try to pull himself into the pool, others would jump in first. The Bible says that "a great multitude" waited there for the stirring of the water. No one ever helped this poor man into the water. EVERYONE ignored him trying to get there before him. Day in and day out, one after another, people passed him.
Maybe the key here wasn't getting into the water. Maybe it was the man's patience. Maybe it was his devotion to the hope that Jesus would come and help him. MAYBE THE KEY WAS ABOUT HELPING SOMEONE ELSE GET INTO THE POOL.
Jesus noticed him. Jesus knew no one else would.
My heart is broken. How many times have I walked right past someone waiting for help. All they need is a hand to get into the water. They just need my words of encouragment or my money or my time. All the while, I'm thinking about my own healing. I have a whole list of needs that I'm busy thinking about. Who doesn't have a list? I've been pursuing God for years on certain issues and I seem to never be the first one into water to receive my healing after the angle stirs that water. But, maybe it is not about the water. Maybe it is all about helping the person next to me be the first. Maybe it is about placing others before myself.