• Lori Somerville

Get Up & Walk


The Healing at the Pool

John 5

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.

A little context – At the time it was believed that at certain times an angel would enter the pool and stir the waters of the pool. The first person to enter the pool while the water was being stirred would be healed.

[4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

38 years. 38 years of laying by a pool and watching other people receive their healing while you were stuck, not able to move, with no one to help you into the water.

6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

There is nothing in the verse that indicates that our invalid friend responded sarcastically or flew into a rage but the temptation must have been real………………….

Are you kidding me? Do you think I’m having fun? 38 years of waiting with absolutely nothing to show for it.

7 Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Can you imagine 38 years of longing to be able to move; to get to the desire of your heart only to be cut off by others?

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The invalid’s healing did not come about by stirring waters but by a man sent by God to heal the entire world. The invalid had no idea who was speaking to him. He had no idea that his life was about to change. He picked up his mat and walked.

1. Jesus saw the Need. The name of the pool (a pond or bath), which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda meaning house of mercy; for therein appeared much of the mercy of God to the sick and diseased.

In a world of so much misery as this is, it is well that there are some Bethesdas—houses of mercy. Jesus healed the invalid at the house of mercy.

C’mon. Jesus saw the invalid and saw his need. Out of all the sick and diseased people at the pool Jesus picked him. Hopeless. Helpless. His faith was gone. He was just going through the motions.

But Jesus. Those two words. But Jesus. Tragedy becomes less tragic when Jesus enters.

Can you imagine – 38 years of waiting, of wondering why you were overlooked again. 38 years of whispers and innuendos about what you must have done to deserve the life that you have.

What about you?

Do you have a need?

Do you need a healing – physically, spiritually, emotionally?

Do you need a breakthrough?

Are you as tired and defeated and hopeless as the invalid in this story?


2. Jesus asked. Jesus said to the man “Do you want to be well?”.

This really struck me. The man had been sitting by a pool trying to get his healing for 38 years………why would Jesus need to ask?

Because not everyone wants to healed.

Sometimes we get so comfortable in our infirmity that it becomes a part of who we are. We wear it like a twisted badge of honor – showing all who turn their gaze upon us that we are victims of our circumstances.

Look at the verses again. The man in our story didn’t even answer the question.

7 Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

He gave an excuse.

He had probably endured years of judgment and criticism from well meaning friends and family trying to figure out why our friend had not received his healing – after all it had been 38 years.

When he looked up at Jesus he had no idea of who Jesus was and what he was capable of. He was hoping this stranger might pick him up and help him into the pool.

We all have excuses. We’ve all been criticized and condemned.

Excuses keep us trapped. Excuses make us victims. Oh I know sometimes they are real and valid but when you get right down to it – most of the time the only thing between you and your miracle……….is you.

Excuses make us victims.

Are you trapped in the lies of victimhood?

If you want victory you have to give up being a victim.

If you want victory you are going to have to do something.

What is stopping you today from receiving your healing, your answer, your breakthrough?

3. Jesus spoke.

Jesus healed our friend with a spoken command. A couple of words. “Rise and take up your bed.”

He commands an invalid to rise and walk.

He could have healed him with a touch but instead he commanded the invalid to take an action – to attempt to walk.

The man stood and walked. He responded in faith. And he walked. He obeyed Jesus’ command.

This is one of the most amazing acts of faith to be found in the Bible. 38 years of lying by a pool with no chance of freedom. And he responded to the command of a stranger.

How is your obedience level? What are you willing to do to have your life changed?

Don't just seek your miracle...........see the giver of miracles..........JESUS.

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