John 5:1-5 “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.”
John 5:6 “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 knows what’s going on in your life.
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.” Instead of answering ‘yes, I want to be healed,’ the man gave excuses.
John 5:8-9 “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.”
I’m so glad for the mercies of God. Jesus knows what’s going on in your life. He knows the bad dreams that you have that wake you up at night. God knows all of what’s going on in our lives and more. He knows your discouragement. He knows what you face tomorrow.
Jesus knew that this lame man had been there by the pool for 38 years. He knew what this man had been through. He did not catch God unaware. Jesus wasn’t surprised. The only thing that God needed to have answered was, ‘Will you be made whole?’ Unfortunately, the answer wasn’t ‘yes’. It was ‘I have no one to help me…’ Jesus’ reply was, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’
Wouldn’t it be better if when we heard the question, ‘Would you like to be delivered?’ or ‘Would you like victory and blessing and healing?’ if we answered, ‘Yes!’ rather than giving excuses for why not?
You won’t ever find a lost sheep seeking his shepherd. It’s always the shepherd that looks for the sheep. It is the same for us. Our Good Shepherd always seeks us. You think you came looking for God. That’s not you. It wasn’t you that found God. God wasn’t lost. It was Him seeking you! It was the outstretched hand of mercy that sought after you. That is all that you need to be made whole. He has chosen you. He has found you. He is having an audience with you, ‘Will you receive what I have for you?’
People can still be healed today. People can still get help for depression, loneliness and weakness. Jesus’ hand is there, reaching out. He is asking the question, ‘Will you be made whole?’ What is your answer?
‘Bethesda’ is a Hebrew word meaning ‘house of mercy’. This is where mercy lives. What do you find in the house of mercy? You find sick people, people in need of mercy.
This pool of Bethesda was not a happy place. It was near where sheep were cleaned as they were brought into the city to be sold. It probably stank.
At the House of Mercy, one can get a wrong mindset. ‘Maybe I’ll just wait here, in the house of mercy.’ A person can get ‘if only’ thinking. ‘If only I was smarter or prettier or had more money.’
The pool of Bethesda is pretty cool. People get healed there, but you don’t want to hang out there. You don’t want to live. Stop ‘if only’ thinking. Start thinking, ‘I’m going to get my healing from Jesus today.’ ‘I’m going to get what I need today.’ You don’t want to live in the House of Mercy. You want to get your healing and move on to whatever else the Lord has for you, whatever He calls you to do.
Taken from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.