Three Men at the Pool of Bethesda

Just some simple thoughts from John 5, the man healed at the pool of Bethesda. Bethesda means 'House of Mercy, or Kindness' and so is it not fitting and entirely appropriate that into this place steps the Saviour, the perfect embodiment of all kindness and mercy! Does Psalm 117:2 not say "For his merciful kindness is great toward us..."

In this scene we read of three men referred to:

  • "A certain man" - An infirmed man, impotent and helpless who had lay stricken for 38 years. It is interesting that this man had been in this state for longer than the Lord Jesus had been upon the earth as a man! I think it is lovely to think therefore that even before he came into this world, his eye was upon this man, knowing one day they would meet and he would be blessed as a result. Surely we think of ourselves in this regard; "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world..." Eph 1:4
  • "I have no man..." - This man had no man to help him in his despair, his situation was hopeless! His plight is touching; "While I am coming into it myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me..." How typical of men and of this world! This 'me first' attitude, the survival of the fittest, illustrating the selfish cruelty of men. How unfair, how this poor man was disadvantaged! Thank God that the Saviour steps in to redress the balance, here is mercy and compassion, here is one who will help! We thank God that our God is not the God who only blesses those who get there first, those who step ahead of others and cut in! Praise God that he looked on us in our helpless state - "For by grace are ye saved, through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast." Eph 2:8-9
  • "...what man is that..." - The outraged Jews enquired of the healed man. Of course they discovered it was the blessed man of Galilee! Son of Man, yet Son of God, here we see the two met together beautifully, just as they did at the tomb of Lazarus, his compassion and care for his fellow man, and yet his omnipotence to heal and bless. Empowered after 38 years of weakness and wretchedness... "He healed me and gave me back my strength..." Christ put others first, despite the Sabbath, this was far from the Jewish way, they were outraged! He would later go to the cross of Calvary to die for others, and there they would mock him again - "He saved others, himself he cannot save." We notice that their cold-hearted hypocrisy would surface again even at Calvary, as it is John who records; "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." They would not even let him alone then, as he died on the cross! Well might we sing - "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" We thank God that Christ put others first, he thought of us and came to our aid in our deep need.
We trust these simple thoughts will be a blessing to all.

Mark

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