As another Feast Day approached, Jesus and the disciples head to Jerusalem. As they approached the Sheep Gate, they entered into the alcoves of the Bethesda pool. Nehemiah 3:1 tells us the the Sheep Gate was the first gate in the process of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. This first gate was chosen, because this entrance is the gate that the Sheep who were destined for sacrifice would enter the city walls. The Sheep Gate is also pivotal for the Lamb of God.
Next to the gate is a pool of water, called the pool of Bethesda. The pool is surrounded with five covered porches. Hundreds, not a few or even twenty something, but hundreds of sick people lay in wait for the pool to move. The pool was known as a place of healing, when occasionally, the heavens 'stirred' the pool with healing powers.
John 5:3-4 VOICE
"All of these people were disabled in some way; some were blind, lame, paralyzed, or plagued by diseases; [and they were waiting for the waters to move. From time to time, a heavenly messenger would come to stir the water in the pool. Whoever reached the water first and got in after it was agitated would be healed of his or her disease]."
The blind, the crippled and the broken. Those who were on the outskirts of 'clean' waited there. They sat in this place, day in and day out, in anticipation of a ripple. They waited there for their chance to scramble into the waters first. For the chance to be in time to receive their healing.
Jesus leads His disciples into the thick of this place of misery and suffering. The ill are considered 'unclean' and people who don't have to, do not associate with them. They walk on the other side of the road, they are cast aside to the edge of town, and at the very least, they are approached with extreme caution.
Not Jesus. He boldly walks into this place without seeming to think that it was unusual at all. From the scriptures, it appears that He has a destination in mind. A single man with a debilitating disability. This unnamed man has been living with his disability for 38 years. Thirty-eight years is a long time, a very long time. Yet, he lies next to the pool with hope.
John 5:5-8 VOICE
"In the crowd, Jesus noticed one particular man who had been living with his disability for 38 years. He knew this man had been waiting here a long time. Jesus (to the disabled man): Are you here in this place hoping to be healed?
Disabled Man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir; but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred. Jesus: Stand up, carry your mat, and walk."
He doesn't sound angry or disillusioned. He isn't resentful, or critical of those who can get to the water ahead of him. He doesn't even sound sad at his predicament. He does sound hopeful. He is waiting and watching and full of hope. He is hopeful that his healing will happen, although he obviously doesn't know how it will ever take place. Kind and hopeful. 'Kind sir.' That's how he addresses Jesus as he tells Him his story. 'Kind sir.' Jesus instructs him to stand up. Gather your mat and walk. A rush of healing energy courses through his body. Surging power that carries throughout his arms and legs. Can you imagine this moment.
John 5:9 VOICE
"At the moment Jesus uttered these words, a healing energy coursed through the man and returned life to his limbs—he stood and walked for the first time in 38 years."
He stood up for the first time in 38 years. He stood up and followed Jesus' instructions to the letter. He is taking no chances, as picks up his mat and walks away. Joy must have marked his steps. Tentative at first maybe, stronger and stronger as he gained ground. Belief sets in and He is jumping and whooping up a little party all by himself. Walking upright, because of a conversation with Jesus.
Here we have it once again. Another joyful moment happens, because of a conversation with Jesus. Connect with Jesus today. Have a conversation. Take it from this guy, the outcome is gonna be better that you ever anticipated.