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. 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? 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. 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. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. (John 5:1-11)
Every miracle that our Lord performs teaches a lesson and the miracle by the pool of Bethesda is no exception. The pool of Bethesda was a special place and there was a great multitude of “impotent folk” that was found there. The reason was because occasionally an angel would trouble the water and the first person to enter the pool would be healed of whatever disease they had. This day, there would not be an angel that would trouble the water. Instead the Son of God would come and ask one man a question, “Wilt thou be made whole?”
Christ’s question to this man seems almost absurd, but what we must remember is that Christ gave this man a choice! God has created man as creatures of free will. God allows us to make our own decisions. But when we make our decisions we also choose that consequence that is attached to that decision! When people die and go to hell it’s because that is the choice they made! They had a choice: Receive Christ and his redemption … or reject Christ which results in condemnation. The lame man could have rejected Christ’s offer and continued in the same condition he had spent the past 38 years in, but thank God he didn’t!
Notice that Christ told him to take up his bed and walk … and that is exactly what he did. By doing so, the lame man gave evidence that Christ had indeed made him whole. THIS IS THE EXAMPLE CHRIST WANTS FROM EVERY CHRISTIAN! It is our Christian walk that gives the world evidence that we are a new creature in Christ.
It would have been ridiculous to think that after the lame man was healed that he would remain on his cot for the rest of his life. But multitudes of Christians have done exactly that. Instead of embarking on a lifelong walk with Christ, they choose to stay where they’ve always been! They choose to act like they’ve always acted and continue to fit in with a multitude of people that are depraved!
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” Colossians 2:6
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10
There are a number of excuses that Christians in this condition grasp onto. Perhaps the most popular excuse is that they are trying to reach the rest by fitting in. But, if there is no evidence that Christ has made you whole, how will you convince another that Christ can make them whole?
Some Christians have refused to walk. Some have walked for a time and then quit. What is needed is each of us to experience a lifelong walk with Christ. If for no other reason, I never want to give my lost friends and family the impression that the Christian life was not good enough for me and therefore it won’t be good enough for them!