Originally posted during Lent, this all washed over me fresh yesterday in our Bible study class as we re-examined this moment in scripture and I felt the need to put it up again…
The water promised healing…or at least the stories surrounding it did. They said that angels from the Lord came to dip themselves into the waters and once finished bathing, the first person to soak in the wet remnants of holy majesty will be healed…and so the multitudes came with the burning desire to be healed… to be whole… to be accepted…by anyone…
The blind…the lame…the paralyzed…all gathered with the singular purpose to sense a gentle movement in the cool pool.
How many times they had been fooled by a sweet breeze? How many times did the blind mistake a bird’s wings for those of a heavenly bather? How many times did they cry out in frustration and anger when they were beaten by one who was faster…or closer to the edge? How many had given up on ever making it into the water but didn’t have the strength or the resources to leave?
The multitude, focused and forgetful of the world outside the pool, all sitting with their eyes fixed upon the calm cover of cool liquid…waiting and hoping…their common desire filling the air with a heavy sensation of heartbreak and abandonment.
Is that what caught His attention as Jesus passed thru the streets of Jerusalem?
Did His heart fill with the sadness of a group of people so broken that it caused Him to stop and move in their direction, His hands ready to heal all who asked?
How long did He stand and observe the hundreds laying out in the shade, eyes fixed in one direction, knowing they were looking the wrong way?
Did He clear His throat in the pure hope that any might look up and find true salvation from their pain?
We don’t know how long He watched…but do know that as He stood among this group, His eyes did fall upon one particular man.
After 38 years of being in his sickness…of being shoved out of the way or stepped on by those who were faster and stronger…of realizing nothing was ever going to happen for him…Jesus let his eyes stop on this one soul who had given up all hope. In one glance, He knew everything there was to know about this man…and He simply asked, “Do you want to be healed?”
The Bible records a simple response from this man, but I imagine that his eyes, having been trained in one direction for so long, probably never once left the calm water as he spoke, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”
Having no idea that the presense of God was in his midst…the very One who created the angels that they all so desperately waited for…this man simply told his story, having no idea that in being the only one on the fringes of this pool to respond to Him, he alone would be rewarded. “Get up, take your bed and walk.”
No fanfare or massive showcases of power,
no screaming or yelling or crying out…
just a simple moment
filled with simple words
from simple lips
falling on simple ears
doing miraculous things.
He was healed…
…the man who had seemingly wasted four decades of his life trying to heal himself by staring at a pool had just been chosen by God.
…the man who had once been an outcast, forgotten and dirty, was now walking on new legs with a new chance at life because he had been remembered by the Almighty.
…the man, who probably thought of himself as nothing much, became such an amazing picture of salvation that his story stopped this girl in her tracks.
Bringing tears to my eyes and realization to my heart, I remember how often I sit, staring at a “pool of water” to save me when God stands right behind me, pleading with my heart to recognize the Savior in my midst…and even when I offer excuses as to why I haven’t helped myself, He reaches down to assist me…because I have been chosen as His.