In John 5:1-15 Jesus is back in Jerusalem for a Jewish feast, most likely the Passover. At this point, Jesus was already famous among the people and a thorn in the sides of the religious leaders.
Yet, when he first arrived in Jerusalem we don’t seem him at the temple or any other place of high esteem. Instead, he is at the pool called Bethesda. This isn’t a nice fancy pool either. It’s next to the sheep gate.
Under the colonnades at the pool “lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.” Out of the multitude of invalids, Jesus singled out the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. Perhaps Jesus chose him because he had been there the longest, but we don’t know for sure. Then Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed, the man explains why he can’t be, and Jesus replies, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And the man does!
I don’t know about you, but if I had been paralyzed for 38 years and someone told me to get up and walk I would think they’re crazy. I would probably protest and ask questions before slowly attempting to get up. However, this paralyzed man had such faith in Jesus’s words that he was instantly healed and got up.
Although this man had been coming to the pool for a long time in hopes of being healed, he always left hopeless and remained paralyzed. For years he prayed for healing, and it came, but not in the way he expected. Rather than being healed by the pool, he was healed by the Messiah.
In his commentary on this story, Charles Spurgeon had an interesting perspective:
“A blindness had come over these people at the pool; there they were, and there was Christ, who could heal them, but not a single one of them sought him. Their eyes were fixed on the water, expecting it to be troubled; they were so taken up with their own chosen way that the true way was neglected.”
The multitude was so fixated on how they thought they should or could be healed that they neglected to see the Messiah standing in their midst with the power to miraculously heal them.
Have you been praying for something, whether it be healing, provision, or guidance and expecting it to come in a certain way? I would challenge you to let go of those expectations, refocus on Christ alone, and see what happens.