In our previous blog post,  we have studied into the background of the miracle by the pool of Bethesda. We understood about the legend as well as the problem that comes alongside with it.

We saw the hope as well as the anguish of the people waiting by the pool of Bethesda. Now we also see Jesus coming to the pool on his own accord.

We concluded saying that even though the grace of God is given free, but sinners had to make a choice whether to accept the grace or not. So let us consider this question.

What is Our Response To This Grace Of God?

This is important because  we often find ourselves unwilling to come before God. Today, Jesus had sent his servants to preach the gospel,  He wanted them to reach out to those who do not know him, and to tell them to believe in Jesus.

But sometimes we cant help asking “Why don’t Jesus just give his grace directly to the people”

Jesus is always willing to give his grace to whoever who wants to hear it, that is why he came to the pool of Bethesda personally. But this grace of salvation is not to be given out like the free samples that is  push to everyone for no particular reason. That is why Jesus asked the man “Do you want to be healed?”

Many would find this question redundant, for is there anyone who do not want to be healed. But Jesus did not ask for no reason , it is an important and necessary question.
For one need to believe in Jesus if they want to be healed. 

Faith can only be proven by obedience to the words of God. In this case, Jesus came to a man who did not know him, and Jesus wanted to give him his grace for free. Even though grace is free, it is not given without any reason. The receiver needs to believe in the words of Christ and to respond to the grace by following his instructions.

The man did it, that is why he is willing to get up and take up his bed. He had been paralysed for 38 years, it requires faith for him to follow the command of Jesus. The result of his obedience is the healing of illness. 

Why Was the Man Healed?

As we read this story we will wonder “Why did Jesus heal this man only? There are many who are waiting around the pool, why only this particular man? “

To be honest, we need to ask ourselves this  “How many are willing to come before Jesus and to believe in him?”  But if we were to read the story, you will notice that no one was willing to come before Jesus.

For Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath and it is something that was illegal under the Jewish law, many must have seen Jesus transgressing the law and concluded that he cannot come from God.

There are many who choose not to believe the miracle even if they see with their own eyes. The healing of this man is not a result of an act of partiality, it is not because Jesus was not merciful enough, but rather there are no one else who would listen to him.

That is why they miss the opportunity to receive this grace from Jesus, for Jesus will not be by the pool everyday. He will need to go somewhere else on another day.

Seizing The Opportunity To Follow Christ

Let us seize the opportunity to listen and believe in Christ. Let us be bold and courageous, ignoring the mocking of others. Let us not allow problems to prevent us from believing in the Lord

For Jesus is indeed God and we must worship him.

The first miracle where Jesus turn water into wine, tells us of his power to create something out of nothing. No one can turn water to wine instantly, and Jesus had the power to create. Through his words, this universe is created.

Let us learn to worship God for Jesus had the power to create.

But let us bring this miracle to the modern context and learn from it.

The Spiritual Bethesda Of the Modern Era

Spiritually, there are many Christians who are just laying beside the pool of Bethesda. There are Christians whoa re spiritually paralysed. lame and the blind. There are also some who have withered away as well.

Christians who are spiritually bedridden and cannot continue their walk with God.

Christians who are blind, unable to discern between right and wrong

Christians that are lame and are unable to follow the words of the Lord

Christians that have withered, having no strength and spirit behaving like dead man

Very often we fall under the last category, for whenever we gather to read the bible and worship we appear lifeless and dead. Our life  and vitality returns immediately when we leave the church hall. 

Even though we are all physically healthy, our spiritual life feels as if we are by the pool of Bethesda. Now when Jesus come by the place and he asks us “Do you want to be made well? Do you want to improve your situation?”

Will we choose to lie down and wither away, or will we choose to get up and walk?  The way that lead to eternal life is difficult, it is a path we must all tread. That is why Jesus tells us plainly

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
  for many, I say to you, will seek to enter
  and will not be able”- Jesus (Lk 13:24)

We need to be willing to rise up and to follow Christ  .Let us not allow our spiritual life to wither by the pool of Bethesda. let us walk out of there, to follow Christ and to enter Eternal life.

Heeding The Warning Of Jesus

Jesus gave a warning to the man who was healed.

“See, you have been made well. Sin no more,
  lest a worse thing come upon you.”- Jesus (Jn 5:14-15)

The man did not know who Jesus was, after his healing, he departed happily and he forgot to find out who his healer was. He did not come back to seek him.This man never found out who was the great man who healed him. He did not make an attempt to thank him.

When the Jewish leaders ask him why he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath, he only replied

“He who made me well said to me, ‘
  Take up your bed and walk.’”- Man From Bethesda

He is an ungrateful man who received a great grace from God, yet he did not turn back and offer his thanks.

Though some may argue that Jesus never gave him a chance to know him. Jn 5:13 tell us that Jesus had withdrawn from that place. But I am sure Jesus was travelling with a huge party, and he could be found if he seek him. But this man did not seek Jesus, it was Jesus who seek him out on purpose.

When Jesus found him in the temple, he exhort him to sin no more, to walk on a new path and follow the path of salvation. He exhort him not to return to the way of sin. Yet this man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who made him well.

Betraying The Lord

The Author Of Hebrew warns us

“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;
  lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and
  by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator
  or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold
  his birthright.  For you know that afterward, when he wanted
  to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place
  for repentance, though he sought it diligently with
  tears.” – Author Of Hebrews (Heb 12:15-17)

We often say that Esau sold his birth right out of greediness, but there are Christians who betray the Lord for various reasons . Some did it for the sake of benefits and pleasure.

But the Author of Hebrew warns us that there are 2 types that will betray the Lord. 

Heb 12:16 – These are the fornicators, the immoral people that betray out of lust
Heb 12:15 – People who fall short of the grace of God, allowing root of bitterness to grow

The root of bitterness is to go against the words of Christ, the teaching that brings salvation. it will deceive and defile people who are not discerning in their faith. It will turn them away from the truth so we would not hold on to it.

As Christians we ought to be weary of these two type of problems and not to allow the root of bitterness to grow within us. Let us not fall short of the grace of God nor give way to lust like Esau.

This miracle remind us to obey the words of God, to not to allow our faith to be bedridden. Let us continue to walk in the way of the Lord once again.