Jesus and the Jacuzzi
Standard; Joh 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"
7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."
9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."
11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"
12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?"
13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
So Jesus goes to the annual church picnic and He decides to swing by the world's largest Jacuzzi. As usual, it was packed. This was a very special Jacuzzi, because as you know they didn't have timer switches on the wall like at a Holiday Inn. You couldn't just turn the jets on with a flick of the switch!
Just imagine that you and your family are staying at this Holiday Inn and you walk into the pool area and see this mass of crippled humanity waiting for someone to throw the switch and get the water moving. There are sick people, some with aids, some with cancer, some with dark glasses and red striped canes, others in wheelchairs, and still others strapped on guerney's unable to move from the neck down.
All waiting.....waiting for there chance at normalcy.
In addition friends and relatives are close at hand watching the placid water waiting for the first sign of a ripple so they can toss their loved one into the pool and be healed. The first one in the pool is healed of “whatever” disease he had, all the rest have to go home and try another day. That's the rules of the game and people never weary of playing it, because they have hope.
One day they may be the first one in.
I wonder if they ever had any false starts. You know like at the Olympics. The swimmers dive in before the official start and then they have to start over again. Aw c'mon, human nature hasn't changed You KNOW there were false starts. I'm sure the false starts would put everyone in a real jolly mood.
And what other kind of clawing, scratching, and eye gouging took place as people jockeyed for position for healing? Couldn't there be a better way of doing this? How about taking a number, or getting your name on the list like at Olive Garden when it's crowded?
( Well as ugly as this scene likely became at times it is a picture of how we ought to be clamoring for God's grace and mercy. Desire it! Seek it! Clamor after it. Hunger and thirst after righteousness and you will be filled! )
Well, Jesus comes upon the scene and surveys the situation and He spots the man the Father wants Him to deal with. We'll call him Matt, because that's been his home for 38 years. The chaise lounge chair of the crippled. He's had a very bad case of arthritis for 38 years. He can move, but not without a lot of effort.
Sort of like Grandpa Dan, he's sharp as a tack, but he just can't move as fast as he used to.
And Jesus walks up to Matt and says, “How'd you like to be able to walk again?” And the guy says, “I'd be able to walk if I just had me one of those scooters from the scooter store. Oh, man. I would just blow by all those other people and wheee! Into the water and booom....healed! Yea, if I just had me one of those scooters!
Hello? I'm Jesus.....the Son of God, I can heal you with just a word! Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
Immediately, faster than a nanosecond, the man was healed, and immediately he obeyed Jesus took up his bed and walked. What a miracle! No lines, no waiting for the pool, just instant healing. I keep getting this picture of Grandpa Dan, it's Sunday evening, and we call him to the dining room for supper. He struggles for a good 30 seconds just to get out of his chair, so he can grab onto his walker and shuffle into the dining room for meal.
It's a familiar noise at our house ...shuffle...shuffle....shuffle..... but this time something's different. We hear the regular pace of footsteps and he turns the corner, with that twinkle in his eye, with his walker folded up and under his arms and says, “I won't be needing this anymore!”
Halleluiah! What a miracle! Could you picture our jaws dropping if this were to take place!
I know mine would and the first thing I would say to him would be, “what're you doing? You can't carry your walker....it's Sunday!
Well, that's what happened! The Sabbath police spotted this guy carrying his bed and pulled him over. And he rolls down his window and says, yes officer I know I was carrying my bed, but I was just doing what the guy who healed me told me to do.”
“What guy” That guy over there.....well He was over there..........
“All right, we're going to just give you a warning this time, if you see this guy again we'd appreciate a call.”
So the guy goes to church, probably to thank God for His healing, and Jesus sidles up to him in the pew and says, Pssst! Hi, I'm Jesus I'm the guy who healed you, not only that, but I also forgave all your sins, which is your greater need. You see I'm God and only God can do these things.
Now I'm telling you, straighten out your life, live according to the ways of God, keep trusting in me for your salvation, if you don't, you'll wish you were crippled again, because that would be a lot better than what will happen to you if you don't
That's the account. So what can we learn from this incident. It was one of 7 signs that John included in his Gospel so that we will believe that Jesus is the Christ.
Joh 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
How does this miracle help us believe? Who but God can heal? And who but God can forgive sins?
Who but God can send to hell!
Some other things we can pick up: In verse 2 we see that the name of the pool is Bethesda. It means “the house of mercy.” This is helpful for several reasons. The first being that the whole set-up which seems incredibly unfair to you and I is an illustration of God's parameter for extending mercy.
Ex 33:19b I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
That just one person be healed in this manner is an incredible act of mercy. Understand that it is God who extends mercy.
De 32:39 'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
Some are healed.....some are not. All are in God;'s hands.
Further, learn that the church is to be Bethesda, we are to be a house that extends mercy. There is a “great multitude” of people who are spiritually sick, Caught up in sin and guilt they need to know of God's merciful act on Calvary. They need to see that kind of mercy in how we live. Preach the Gospel. If necessary use words!
Don't miss the fact that the man had his crippling infirmity for 38 years. How did John know that? I t could've only been revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit as he wrote this Gospel. God knew exactly how long this man had been afflicted. God is aware of the length of your affliction.
He knows how long you have been afflicted by your sin. He knows how long you've been afflicted by your bodily aches and pains. He knows how long you've been afflicted by your loneliness, your depression, your fears. He knows!
He could take care of it in an instant, but for some good reason He waits. He sees something, He knows something you or I couldn't possibly know and so we trust. And instead of cursing Him for making us wait, we must remember that He is the only source of mercy and so we must keep coming to Him Because we aren't going to find mercy anywhere else.
Ask Him for mercy for your situation and keep asking until you receive His answer.
Remember the Apostle Paul kept coming to God, asking for mercy in removing the thorn from his flesh. He kept coming till God gave him an answer, and the answer was a negative on the removal of the thorn, but a promise to give Paul the grace he would need to endure.
Next, hear the question of Jesus. It seems like such a dumb question. “Do you want to be made well? “No I just come here because I like the smell of chlorine.”
Yet, take the time to listen to the question, because it wasn't just meant for this crippled man, it was meant for you and for me. “Do you want to be made well?” Or have you become content to stay in your sin rut. Wouldn't you like to take that step of faith and be made well?
Wholeness will only come as we dive into the pool of mercy personified.....Jesus the Christ the Son of the Living God. When we say yes completely to Jesus the healing is immediate. In less than a nanosecond our sins are completely removed from our account.
It's faster than you can click the mouse on your computer and make a banking transaction!
We must dive in to realize this truth. It is in Him that we live, move, and have our being. And so He says:
Rise, take up your bed and walk. Live! Move! Have your being in Him as you respond to His merciful invitation, and put yourself under His yoke. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Finally, Jesus knew right where to go to find the formerly crippled man. He knows right where to find those who have responded to His invitation to get well. They are in the temple....in the church. Not because they have to, or because it looks good, but because they get to be there.
When's the last time this crippled man went to church? Probably 38 years ago. But now he GETS to go! He gets to thank God, He gets to praise God, He gets to serve God, He gets to be reminded to stay on course less a worse thing happens to him, and he gets to receive the assurance of the Lord's forgiveness.
Do you want to get well? Then hear Jesus, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Stop your pity party. Stop your misguided thinking that if only you had this or that then you would be fine. Oh, if only these people would do this for me or that for me, then I will be okay.
You'll never be okay relying on others, Jesus isn't going to take you to the edge of the pool and leave you alone, learn to rely on Jesus.