I was reading this morning about the impotent man the Lord healed at the pool of Bethesda.
The King James Bible says: John 5:2-4 "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."
Now, I know there can be debate about what kind of angel came to the pool. Was it a demon? Or was it a Heavenly angel? I have no idea. Jesus in this passage never even addresses the issue, so I'm certainly not going to tell you a definite answer one way or the other.
But, just for my sake here, (and my random thoughts I had this morning) let's assume it was not a heavenly angel. Does that make everyone uncomfortable? Just hang in there with me for a minute, okay?
Jesus comes to this place, where all the people are waiting to be healed, and he focuses on one man. A man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. [That's a long time to deal with an infirmity!!]
(Vs. 5) "And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. (Vs. 6) 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?"
Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed. Now, all the people are there to be healed. That's the reason they're all there. It's a tradition among the infirm, since the water only gets 'troubled' at a 'certain season'. The man wants to be healed, but he has a problem.(Vs. 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."
The thing that's hindered his healing, is the fact that there is no one to help him. He's in the place everyone else is, trying to receive healing. He has the desire, but just can't get there on his own.
Now, isn't that typical? On our journey to find truth, don't we try anything and everything the world offers that promises healing, only to be disappointed? To have the truth be so close to us (like Jesus being at the pool with the man) but we just can't find it on our own?
Jesus doesn't focus on the fact that it's a demonic healing going on at the pool. (Remember, we're just assuming this now.) He focuses on the fact that the man needs healing, and He gives him what he needs without telling him how wrong the whole idea of the pool is, He heals his infirmity, and leaves it at that.
There is no sermon to the others there either about how wrong they are for being there, or how the healing won't last, etc etc.
It made me think of how we approach people today. How many times do we focus on reproving them of their sin and their actions, instead of giving them what they need? We can go on and on and on about this and that they're doing wrong, or how their religion is wrong, and how much God is displeased, etc etc.
Why don't we just give them what they need? Why don't we just talk about the Gospel, about how much Jesus loves them and wants to heal them of their infirmities? Why do we feel the need to list everything that they're doing wrong?
Is it just me who does this?
Don't get me wrong; we need to address sin- absolutely. But we need to be more sensitive to whether a person wants to be healed or not. How can a person accept reproof if they have no
desire to change? Jesus didn't start with the man's list of sins. He asked the man if he wanted to be healed. And then he healed him.
Later, he did tell the man: (Vs. 14) "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
Only after the man was healed did Jesus tell him not to sin anymore. Why? Because the man was ready to receive that kind of instruction. He was a believer (had been made whole), and the Spirit could now work in His life to change him.
Doesn't this make sense? Addressing specific sin problems after a person is healed (becomes a believer), when they have the Spirit of God in them to help them!
What a concept!
There are people all over this world who are hurting, in need of healing, but get reminded of their infirmities instead. Their weakness is shown to them over and over, but they are helpless to do anything about it. They cannot get healing on their own.
We need to introduce them to Jesus, the healer, and then let the Spirit convict them.
Does any of that make sense? It did in my head.