by Jeff Hagan
(Tacoma, WA, USA)

John 5:1-9

“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool... In these structures supporting a roof lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be healed?' The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.' Jesus said to him, 'Get up, take up your bed, and walk.' And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

“Now that day was the Sabbath” (ESV, emphasis added).

As we see at the end of this passage, this took place on the Sabbath. Jesus and the disciples were in Jerusalem when they came across several people who had various disabilities - blind, sick, lame – and were waiting by the pool of Bethesda. These people believed that the water in this pool contained healing capabilities. As they were walking by the pool, Jesus came across a man who had been sick for a very long time; and Jesus showed mercy to this man and healed him.

This is pretty emotional if you think about it. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, the man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” As I picture this in my mind I can see the man trying to get into the waters and repeatedly missing his chance for a very long time, 38 years in fact. That is, until the day Jesus crossed paths with him and changed his life forever.

This passage, in part, serves as a reminder to us that no matter how we try in our own power, some things cannot get accomplished without the help of Jesus. Far too often we try to do things all on our own only to have someone else “step down before us” (or prevent us from finishing, get in the way, cut ahead). And eventually, Jesus has to come along and tell us to “pick up our bed” (so to speak) and trust in His way and in His power in all that we do.

Suggested Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us through the good times, bad times, simple times, and difficult times. We confess we cannot make it on our own. Thank you, Jesus, for what you have done and continue to do. Please, guide us by your Word and the Holy Spirit each and every day.”

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