Thirty-eight years he struggled with illness, suffering day in and day out. He longed for a miracle, for healing so he wouldn’t continue to be an outcast in society. Tired of being lonely but unsure of what may lie ahead. He sat on a mat by the pool of Bethseda. There was no one to carry him and place him in the waters. He waited and waited for days, months, even years, but to no avail.
The pool had healing qualities whenever the waters were stirred. People were placed in the waters and were healed. Bethseda literally means a place of outpouring or a house of grace and mercy. This pool happened to be near the Sheep Gate where sheep were taken out and sacrificed for atonement.
One day Jesus came and saw the man and asked him if he wanted to be healed. He was quick to say yes. So, Jesus just told the man to stand up and carry his mat. This man had not been able to walk before but he was told to get up and walk. Jesus didn’t see the man until later as Jesus slipped away within the crowds. Jesus forgave the man of his sins and told him to sin no more.
I find this story amazing not just because the man was healed but the significance of the two places where the healing too place. First of all, the man would have been an outcast. No one would have wanted to touch him as he was infirm. People easily walked past him worrying about themselves and their own loved ones, they didn’t take time to notice him. But Jesus stopped and talked to him. Jesus was always talking to the outcast and those no one else seemed to care about.
Jesus, the Son of God, talked to the man and told him to take up his mat and walk. Here is the man at the pool where there is an outpouring of grace and mercy. Here is Jesus who is grace and mercy. He was near the Sheep Gate where we discovered earlier that sheep were taken out to be sacrificed. Jesus is the Lamb of God, spotless and pure, who gave His life for us as a sacrifice of love, grace and mercy. Do you see where I am going with this? I think it is amazing that at such a place of tender reminders of God’s love and forgiveness and healing, the man didn’t need the waters, the man didn’t need a sacrifice, he needed Jesus and Jesus gave His love to him.
Whatever you are going through today, what is keeping you for receiving that healing, mercy, and grace? Are you waiting for someone else to pull you through and carry you to the healing waters? Are you sitting day in and day out hoping that someone will care and feeling like an outcast?
I believe that yes Jesus physically heals and He can heal me and you if He so desires. But I think the most amazing healing is not just the physical healing. It’s the healing of the heart, soul and mind. Our physical bodies live in a sinful world, but when we go to heaven, we will receive a new body with no pain, no tears and no sorrow.
Jesus asks us, do we want to be healed? His love is like the pool of Bethseda bubbling up with new life and healing. Jesus is mercy and grace. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. Come to Him for that pure healing that only Jesus can give.
I am running to Jesus. I am running to Him for healing: deep, cleansing healing. I am running to him for his grace, mercy, and love. I am trusting. I am reaching out. I believe Jesus heals and I want to be healed. What about you?