At the community pool we belong to, they have what is called adult swim. It’s fabulous….for the adults. When they make the announcement for the kids to get back in, it’s a mad dash for the pool. They aren’t supposed to run, but well…ya know….it’s kids, and it’s a pool! You do the math. I imagine the scene to be similar at the pool of Bethesda when the water started to bubble….
Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! (John 5:1-9)
At the community pool we belong to, they have what is called adult swim. Adults don’t have to wait for adult swim to get in, but let’s just say it is a lot more peaceful and a lot less splashy when you do. It’s fabulous….for the adults. The kids, however, wait VERY impatiently for it to be over. And when they make the announcement for the kids to get back in, it’s a mad dash for the pool. They aren’t supposed to run, but well…ya know….it’s kids, and it’s a pool! You do the math.
I imagine a similar scene at the pool of Bethesda when it started to bubble. It’s said that when the water bubbled up, the first one to get into the pool was healed. That’s why crowds of sick people would go there day after day after day. They were desperate for healing. Some would come year after year, like the lame man that Jesus talked to here….desperate and discouraged….and needing a miracle.
I find it very interesting what Jesus asked him here, “Would you like to get well?” Really? Isn’t that a given? If anyone would have dared to say “Duh!” to Jesus, I think it could have been this guy. Why else would he have been there? He was lame. He needed a miracle. He knew he didn’t have anyone to help him into the pool, but he still hoped. And that is why he kept coming back.
Would you like to get well? The man responded, but he never came out and said yes. He just said, “I can’t. I can’t walk, and I don’t have anyone to help me in.” He was so focused on the one way he thought he could get healed, jumping in the pool, that he almost missed the River of Life standing right in front of him.
Sometimes we get stuck in our box of how we’ve always done it. Of how it’s always been. And it is hard for us to look past that to the River of Life that is flowing. God doesn’t live in a box. He lives in the limitless expanse of eternity, and He has an endless supply of ways….
King David had the Philistines coming at him, and he needed a plan. The prophet gave him God’s strategy, and he and the army defeated them. A short time later, the Philistines came at Israel again. David didn’t immediately fall back on the last strategy – on the way it worked before. He went to the prophet again, and God gave them a completely different strategy. They defeated the Philistines again, but in a completely different way. (II Samuel 5)
Jesus told this lame man to get up and pick up his mat. He spit on another guy. One time, he made goop out of spit and clay and put it on another guy’s eyes. The variety of miracles is endless.
There is no box with God. If you are needing a miracle, seek Him. Ask Him for specifics on how He wants to do it this time. It probably won’t be the same as last time. That’s where faith comes in. He wants to give you a strategy to pull that miracle from heaven to earth. Are you ready to jump out of that box?
“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:2-4)