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Let’s read that remarkable account.  John 5:1-9says, “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” 

During the time of the incident, there was a feast.  While some have speculated that this was the Passover and some the Pentecost, we really can’t be sure which feast is being referred to.  However, we do know that near the sheep market, or sheep gate, there was a pool called Bethesda, which means ‘house of mercy’.  This pool had five porches, or coverings that people might gather under to shield themselves from the sun.  At certain intervals, the angel of the Lord would stir the waters of this pool and the first person to enter the pool after this stirring would be healed.  You can well imagine the scene as many lame and diseased people crowded around this pool waiting for the water to move and hoping to be the first one in the pool. 

On this particular occasion, there was a thirty eight year old crippled man there who was waiting for the moving of the water.  When the Lord Jesus saw this man, realizing that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him a very odd question.  He said to him, “Wilt thou be made whole?”  What a strange question.  Of course this man wanted to be made whole.  That is why he was at the pool.  Out of all those there with different infirmities, the Lord singled out this ‘certain man’ to speak to.  Why this man out of all the others?  We are not specifically told, but we are told in 1 Samuel 16:7that, “…the LORD looketh on the heart.”  So while the Lord knew this man’s physical condition, He also knew the condition of his heart.  This man’s answer to the Lord showed that he had given up all hope of being healed.  As we read in John 5:7, “The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” 

Notice that this man addressed the Lord Jesus as ‘Sir’.  The Greek word for ‘sir’ here is “kurios”.  This word is used 748 times in the New Testament.  This word is used in every book in the New Testament except the book of 3 John.  In almost every instance, this word is translated, “Lord.”  This man really addressed Jesus by His title, “Lord”.  How could this man possibly know that Jesus is the Lord?  Let’s consider Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16-17, “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  Just as the Father revealed His Son to Peter, He also revealed Him to this certain crippled man. 

It is ironic that while all the people around the pool of Bethesda locked their gazes upon the pool, the “Divine Physician” passed by unnoticed.  The One who could heal them all was overlooked.  The One who had created each one of them was ignored, so he went to this certain man and drew from his heart a confession that Jesus is Lord.  What wondrous mercy and grace!  This man not only called Jesus ‘Lord’ he also obeyed the Lord’s command.  He picked up his bed and walked as the Lord instructed him to do. 

What does all this mean for us?  This crippled man is a representation of us before we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior.  We were crippled and helpless.  We could not help ourselves and no one else could help us either.  My friend, “Wilt thou be made whole?”  Do you want to be healed spiritually and forgiven us all your sins?   By the word of the Lord Jesus, this man was made whole.   You, too, can be made whole if you obey the Word of the Lord.  We read in John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”  We read in Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  (129.5)