In John 5, we read the story of a paralyzed man healed by Jesus. He is pictured as waiting by the pool of Bethesda (from beth zeda – house of mercy) on the Sabbath, waiting for a chance to be miraculously healed. This pool would have several injured and people gathered around, and numerous individuals would wait for a chance to enter the pool and be healed. Unfortunately, because his legs are useless, other individuals consistently make it to the pool first, but Jesus takes pity on him and heals him.
In this lesson, we’re going to take a look at this story and some lessons we can take from this location and the man involved in these events.
Who Would Visit the Pool of Bethesda?
- Those Needing Healing. Apparently, an angel would come and stir the water of this pool at a specific time, and the first person in the water after this event would be healed. Whether or not this actually happened, people associated this location with healing.
- The Healer. Jesus visits this pool in verse 6, and he singles this paralyzed man out and heals him of his paralysis. Jesus did not avoid this location as many healthy individuals might. Instead, He went where healing was needed – where He was needed most.
What Can We Learn from this Man?
He speaks kindly and respectfully to Jesus, even though Jesus would be younger than him. Regardless of situation, we should emulate this quality. Also, he did not question or challenge Jesus when he was commanded to arise and walk – despite the statistical unlikelihood of Jesus’ command. We need to understand that Jesus’ word applies to us regardless of our situation or perspective. We can’t get hung up on the physical to the detriment of the spiritual.
Another interesting quality of this individual is his persistence. This paralyzed man continued to seek healing despite the odds stacked against him and the persistent failure. Philippians 2:1-8 gives us the example of Jesus’ commitment despite the trials of His purpose, and Romans 12:9 reminds us to cling to what is good. To remain persistent and to continue clinging to goodness, we need to retain a positive outlook, and Matthew 5 addresses our attitudes toward self and others right in the beginning. These defy conventional wisdom, but how much did Jesus’ command to the paralyzed man defy conventional wisdom?
Conclusion & Application
Having a positive attitude, being persistent in our spiritual goals, is being more like Christ. This paralyzed individual knew where he had to be to receive healing. Jesus knew where He had to go to find those in need. We know where we have to be. We know we need spiritual healing. We know who else needs healing, and we know where to go for that healing. Like the man in this story, we are helpless (Romans 3:23), but Jesus came to cleanse our sins (I John 2:1-2). He came where He was needed most, so sin could be done away with. Now it’s our turn to approach Him for that forgiveness and to bring as many as we can with us.
lesson by Justin Owens