So I was listening to the Bible on my way home the other night from church and randomly picked this chapter of John. I always liked this story, so I thought I would share it with you. :0)
“Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “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.” Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.”
– John 5:2-13
I always loved the vivid imagery of the angel of the Lord coming down at certain seasons to stir up the pool, and then to think that the first person who would get inside would be healed from their infirmities. I can’t imagine being ill for 38 years, and then not being able to get the help I needed to be made well. I read what the man said to Jesus, about how he wished to get inside the pool but there was no one to help him in, and then when he was going someone else would step down before him. That breaks my heart to think of that poor man being pushed out of the way, but things like this happen every day, only in different ways. We live in a society of “me first” and “who cares about him, that person wronged me!” After reading this, I feel thankful for that man that Jesus was there to heal him, and thankful that man provided another opportunity for Jesus to do a miracle. It is sad that the Pharisees can only see a way to possibly “catch” Jesus in a wrong act, rather than see the beauty of what He did here.
A couple of things come to my mind from this story. One, I think that is obvious, we should be looking out for each other. Whether we know that person or not, we should be thinking about others first and their needs. Jesus is the ultimate example of this. He knew the ridicule He would receive for healing this man, yet He did it anyway. He cared about this man and desired to help him. We should have that same ambition, to help others in what they need no matter the cost.
The other thing that jumps out at me is that the man was not ashamed of the One who healed him. He did not know who he was, but he gave the credit to “the one who said ‘take up your pallet and walk.” Do we give credit to Jesus when it is due? This should be a goal we have, for Jesus to be on our minds to the extent that when a something happens, we give credit to Jesus. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Thank you God for ____!” He wants us to remember Him throughout our days. Just yesterday I met with a parent from school, and she was nice and positive (which is rare haha!) and when we finished the conference, the first thing that came to my mind was “thank you God that the meeting went well and that she didn’t yell at me!” Some people are skeptical about how much God really influences the things that go on in our lives, but I am of the opinion that we can thank Him for anything and everything. He did make it all, and started it all, didn’t He? I hope this is a story that can stay in your mind and be a good reminder of loving other and thanking God. Two simple attributes of our service to Him.
Like the picture I found? hehe, I’m a visual person, I like pictures. I found this link to that has some pictures of Hebrew Bethseda and what they think may be the pools this is referencing.