Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. John 5:1 - 15 (ESV)
We read in the Gospels that whenever Jesus heals someone, he not only physically heals but he also heals
spiritually. When Jesus meets with the lame man at the Pool called Bethesda, he has a conversation with
him about being made well, or whole again. The man makes the excuse that he can’t because he is too
far away from the pool. Jesus gives him an alternative to the pool by healing him by merely speaking.
Once the man was physically made well, from his infirmity, Jesus adds that the man must stop sinning.
This could imply his infirmity is related to his sin but is not definite and it does not mean that all
infirmities are related to sin. Jesus tells the man to stop sinning because he needs to go and pursue
holiness, so when the Day of Judgment comes nothing worse will happen. After this encounter the man
goes back to the Jews and tells them Jesus healed him.
There are many similarities of Jesus’ encounter with the lame man at the pool as with his conversation
with the Samaritan woman at the well. In both instances Jesus gives restoration to the individuals and
deals with sin. In this instance I have two observations we can apply in our everyday relationship with
- When we focus on the hopelessness of a situation, we will fail to see God’s hand at work. There is no doubt that some of you reading this are faced with a hopeless circumstance in your life, it can be financial, relational, work, school, of health related and we cannot allow our focus to be diverted from Jesus. God is a God of hope. He can and will bring hope to any crisis you may be facing, if you are willing to let Him work in you.
- When we focus on only keeping tradition, then we limit God. Traditions are not bad; they are also not Gospel truth either. When we fail to see God’s hand at work because we think God wouldn’t do such a thing or it goes against certain traditions, then we have placed God in a box and He cannot be contained by our finite boxes. God is a God of surprises. He often uses unconventional means to accomplish His tasks. We need to be mindful of this, so we do not discredit something just because we wouldn’t think God would act or move in a certain unexpected way.
 The Pool called Bethesda means the house of mercy or the house of outpouring. It was a well-known place of healing. It probably was not actually a magical pool that healed people but was most likely a place that traditionally people thought to have powers to heal.