Weekly Devotionals – 17 June 2024

This week, we will consider the 3rd of the seven Miracles seen in the Gospel of John. It is important to remember that these are more than just miracles, but actual signs that Jesus points out in our continual growth in Him. This miracle is the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda.

3rd Miracle and Sign
Healing of the Man at Pool of Bethesda
John 5:1-9

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (John 5:1)
The Feast referred to above would be Passover. This would be the beginning of the Lord’s 2nd year of ministry. The next verse contains some interesting insights.
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. (John 5:2)
The Lord identifies Himself as the “Good Shepherd”, one who has great care for His Sheep (John 10:11). In the Book of Nehemiah, we understand that there were several gates around Jerusalem that were in need of Restoration. The 1st gate mentioned is the Sheep Gate (Nehemiah 3:1). The Lord as the Good Shepherd is seeking out a man who needs help.
We also see the number 5 mentioned. The number 5 speaks of grace. Do you know how many times the number 5 is mentioned in scripture? The answer is 318 times. Let’s consider for a moment the following verse:
Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. (Genesis 14:14)
Lot, Abram’s nephew, needed help. He was powerless against his enemy. The 318 trained men of Abram was able to rescue and deliver him. The number 318 has the meaning of “God is my Helper”. Are you in an impossible situation today? The deliverance of Lot from his captors and the healing of this man at the pool should be an encouragement to us. God is our Help in times of need!
In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. (John 5:3-4)
We see a wide range of people in desperate need of healing. All eyes would wait for the stirring of the water by the angel. This impotent man had no one to help him as he waited for an opportunity to receive his healing. This method was unique and seemed to be more of a competition as to who could first enter the water. Try and place yourself into the position of the impotent man; he waited so long and had no one who could help him.
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. (John 5:5)
We discover that this man had an infirmity for 38 years. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for a period of 40 years after they came out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 8:2). Are you aware that the Lord provided Israel an opportunity to enter their inheritance after only two years? They failed their opportunity and as a result wandered for another 38 years in the wilderness. (Deuteronomy 2:14)
Jesus is pointing to this 40-year period through this miracle. He also pointed to this period after his 40 days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3-4, Deuteronomy 8:2-3).
What is the message we are to learn from this man at the pool? Up until this time, there would be supernatural healings at seasonal times. On this day, Jesus is drawn to “a certain man” who is unable to help himself. Let us now consider the question Jesus asks him.
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? (KJV)
This question indicates more than just a healing. You may recall a similar event where Jesus sent 10 lepers to the priests to be healed (Luke 17:14). All received their healing but one came back to give thanks. What did Jesus say to this particular leper?
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:19)
In both the examples of this impotent man and the leper, we see more than just a healing. It is a picture of a deeper work being done. Moses, before he became the leader of God’s people, had to spend 40 years in the wilderness of Midian. This season of obscurity allowed him to see his need for total dependence upon God. The impotent man at Bethesda was totally reliant on the help and grace of God. His healing did not come through the stirred waters but rather the obedience to rise and take up his bed.
Finally, like many other miracles, this event took place on the Sabbath. It is a picture of resting and relying on God for all our needs. Are you feeling helpless and tired? God is our helper; He is a Good Shepherd who has great care and concern for you. Do not fix your eyes upon the phenomenon of the stirred waters but rather look to Jesus. He is extending an invitation to come into a position of Rest and Trust in Him.
Monday: Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Tuesday: Matthew 9:20-21 (KJV)
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 8:2
And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Thursday: Psalm 23:1-2
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
Friday: John 10:11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Saturday: Luke 18:37-38
So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Sunday: Exodus 15:26
and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell