It is surely one of the most touching stories in the New Testament. A story of a man, totally helpless and alone…yes, I said alone. Even in the midst of a multitude gathered around the same pool he was sitting at, he was alone.
It was obviously a situation where it was “every man for himself.”
This man, according to John’s gospel, was sitting by a pool called Bethesda waiting for an angel to move the water around. The legend had it that when this water was moving, the first person into the water would be healed of whatever disease or sickness he had. This particular man had been lame for 38 years…38 long years. Sounds pretty helpless, doesn’t it?
Now, a preacher stood in front of him, asking him if he really wanted to get better. Could you imagine the gall, or the outright ridiculous nature of such a question? “Can’t the preacher see that I need help? Isn’t it painfully obvious that my body has atrophied and I can’t get around?”
“Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to get well?”
Of course he wanted to be better, but a sense of hopelessness now seized him after 38 years. Through all four seasons of every year, nothing ever changed in his condition. Birthdays would come and go, and the only thing changing in this man’s life was the crowd around him. New people arrived full of home, and the old ones died off a little at a time. All waiting for the moving of the water….but it just didn’t happen. Nothing changed.
Then one day, the preacher brought something else besides a glimmer of hope….he brought faith. With his faith, a positive action…..”rise up, take up your bed and walk.” No one had ever told him that before…could it be that someone actually believed in him? Could it be that someone actually brought action to the philosophy?
Yes, that’s exactly what happened. The Lord Jesus Himself had only released the faith to believe that things can change. Drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes, and even “good” people without vices of any kind can be changed!
Dead churches can come alive, hopeless people can once again believe! People CAN change…yes, I said it, even the people you know! All it takes is for the master of the angels to come by. All it takes is simple obedience…when He says “get up and walk,” then do what He says.
All around us, there are people lost in hopelessness, doubt, fear and unbelief…yes, even people who go to church. We are only waiting for someone to speak THE WORD. Believe you can do it, and it will happen!
Let us all arise from the pool of Betheseda, leave behind the past and WALK in the newness of life!