THE fifth chapter of John records the healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. Our Lord went up to Jerusalem to the feast, for He attended worship and the services of God’s house in His day. And He is found at the pool where the sick and afflicted gathered. Human need always touched His heart. The world still gathers around its pools, and some of the waters of earth do wonderful things indeed!—but beside them all stands the Christ who alone can make us whole.
Jesus found this poor man who had been infirm for thirty-eight years. He addressed Himself to this desperate case, for it is usually only the desperate man who will cast himself wholly on Christ. “Wilt thou be made whole?” He asks. Today, men seek and get partial help here and there, but men need to be made whole, and only the Lord can perform so full a work as that! Peter said to Aeneas (Acts 9:34), “Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.” His is a perfect work.
But notice this poor man’s reply: “Sir, I have no man… to put me in the pool.” You see, he was looking to men. He was depending upon what men could do for him. Today, do we not say, “I have no money; I have no friends; I have no ‘pull'”? We look to the pool and to men, when there stands Jesus, asking, “Wilt thou be made whole?” All we need is Jesus!
And how we send people away—as the disciples wanted to send away the hungry multitude in Matthew 14, when Jesus responded, “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” We let men go away to seek help here and yonder, when Christ alone can meet their need. If we claim to have the gospel, we ought to feed them. There is everything in Christ that men need, yet the church lets men go to the world and to fads and isms for help.
The Lord commanded the man to rise, take up his bed and walk. It seems a strange command; was not that the very thing he could not do? But the minute he made the effort in faith and at Christ’s command, the power was supplied and the miracle was done! There is a split-second of obedience that makes the difference between having your back on the bed and the bed on your back. If Christ commands the impossible and we by faith make the effort to do the impossible, believing in Him, it shall be done! The power is supplied the moment we make the move of faith in His name.
Of course, the Pharisees objected. They asked, “What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed and walk?” They did not credit the miracle worker’s deity. Nor did they recognize the miracle, for they did not ask, “Who healed you?” but “Who said?” Later, the Lord finds the man in the temple; the place to be found after God heals you is in God’s house. You will meet Christ in the church and improve your acquaintance with Him there. Our Lord warns the healed man to leave his sinful ways, lest a worse thing befall him. Those who continue in sin may expect worse and worse rewards! Are you at the pool? Look not at it, or to the help of men. Jesus can work a perfect miracle. Wilt thou be made whole?