Jesus comes to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. There He visits the pool of Bethseda. This was found on the eastern side of the city. Bethseda means “house of mercy.” This rectangular pool had two basins and five porticoes or porches around it. They believe the basins were possibly used as Jewish ritual baths. I actually had the chance to see this complex site when I was in Jerusalem in 2018.
Many sick people who were blind, lame, or paralyzed lay on the porches. A certain man had been sick for thirty-eight years. “When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time; he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?” The sick man responded and said, there is no one to put me in the pool when the water bubbles up. “Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” This man and others believed that angels stirred up the waters and brought healing to them.
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Can you imagine going from a lame state to standing up and walking? This was a day for rejoicing for this man! Instantly the man who had been lame for thirty eight years was healed. He pick up his mat as Jesus had directed him to do.
The tricky thing about this miraculous healing was that it happened on the Sabbath. This was a time that the Jewish strictly adhered to a no work day policy. It included no picking up of mats. The Jewish leaders could only focus on the fact that he had taken up his mat and not that he had been fully healed. They told the man, “You can’t work on the Sabbath. The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat.” The leaders wanted to know who issued him to do such a thing. The healed man had no idea.
Later Jesus found the man in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.” This was a serious warning. We have no idea what sin he had committed that left him lame.
What do we see from these passages? Well, first off, Jesus is in the business of healing. He has compassion on those who have suffered a long time like this lame man. He wants to see those who are sick restored to wholeness. Not just their physical body but emotionally too. Secondly, Jesus is more concerned about someone’s well being than he is of following Sabbath day rules and regulations.
How can we apply this today. Let’s bring to Jesus our infirmities. He is our great physician and can bring about healing in his perfect time. Take to Him your inner struggles and physical issues you are facing. He longs to do a work in your heart and in your life!