Traditionally, all male Jews were expected to be in Jerusalem to commemorate three feasts, festivals or what is called “holy days.” And these are:
By John 5, Jesus always going about doing good, some eleven verses away between John 4: 43 and 54 had healed the son of an important government official at Cana of Galilee. Going over to Jerusalem for one these festivals , he heads straight to the colonnades or porches-the place of the invalids-blind, deaf, dump, lame and paralyzed where he finds this particular invalid who had been sick thirty-eight years. Jesus asks him, “Do you want to be well? Rather than answering the question directly, he starts lamenting how overtime, he has tried but would never be first to step into the stirred Pool of water. He is not telling Jesus what he does not know and neither is it that Jesus by asking if he wants to be well, does not know what his desires are or what has been on his mind and his struggles. But Jesus wants him to say with his own mouth what he wants. And though he does not answer directly out of not knowing who Jesus is and what he is capable of doing, Jesus still goes ahead to heal him. He tells him to carry his mat and go. And though a Sabbath, he instantly gets well and carries his mat and walks away.
On his way he runs into the custodians of the law-the legal authorities who queried him for working on the Sabbath. He tells them the man who has healed him told him to carry his mat and go. They seek to know who his healer is and he says he does not know who he is. This, he says because Jesus has disappeared into the crowd. They said to him the law forbids him to carry his mat on the Sabbath.
The law was made for man and not man for the law. And the fulfillment of the law is love and love is proved in touched and saved lives. And Jesus’ response to Jews makes a striking point. “My Father is always working and so am I.” Every son who wants to take to his hardworking father must model his life after the father’s. A hard working father works every, somedays visible active, other days, passively engaged. And whether active or passive, the good of his children is is the drive. No day then, is too sacred to do good, touch and save a life. More so even the Sabbath is an inn of a unique kind, an occasion to work on the body to healing and making it whole that it may continue in relevant productive living in the other days. For thirty-eight years then, this man has not known any Sabbath, for his body has not rested as it has always only known discomfort and restlessness. And now that Jesus has made Sabbath real to him, the Jews picked a bone with it, yet too late, for Jesus like his Father, ever at work, has ushered into the man’s body and therefore life, a Sabbath. The Saviour has not pass him by but stopped by and waited over him. A father will however, never neglect and pass by his dying son without swiftly attending to him, and neither will Jesus the compassionate Saviour neglect and pass by a soul in desperate need of salvation. The case of the Good Samaritan
Jesus did save the man from both spiritual and physical invalidity, for hear him say to the man “See you are now well. Do not sin anymore so that something worse doesn’t happen to you” (v 14).
Though this implies that this man’s ailment and invalidity has been as a result of sin and for thirty-eight years, Jesus would rather on the Sabbath, go for the worst of sinners than hobnob with the most self righteous of men. He would rather spend his Sabbath saving sinners, than spend it playing religion-meaninglessly or purposelessly keeping the law. He would rather use the Sabbath to unpack and practically interpret and let the law live out its meaning, than side with those who use it to lay the law as a snare on people’s way and a chain usurping people’s freedom to life and meaningful living.
Common plight, common porch. All the invalids found themselves assembled together in a common place; a place of expectation and a place of hope. They were at the place where the fittest and fastest took the day. They were invalids and at the place where the religious leaders-the custodians of the law would not care to visit them, but Jesus did. There Jesus reached out to this one invalid, the one whose sickness had span thirty-eight years. This thirty-eight year long sick man who from his comments had been by the pool and struggling to get first, but to no avail, seeing this unknown yet caring man, narrated to him the story of his struggles. Though we do not know how long he had been there, yet we could infer from his comments that he was not ready to give up. He has tried several times to be the first in the water whenever it got stirred but never was, and neither has he left until Jesus arrived the porches.
Worthy of note is that fact that this man never gave up but stayed on ever waiting in hope. Eventually his patience paid off. As Jesus arrived the hub of the invalid, his attention went straight on him and he turned around his situation for good.
The thirty-eight year long sick never had to struggle to enter the water again as he had healing come to him on a platter of gold. His patient determination paid off. And other than being a patient and determined person, he stands out as a man of unwavering faith. He had patiently and faithfully waited for the occasion when he would take the day as the number one person to get into the water that heals-the stirred pool and get back out healed. And if the number of his years of invalidity are equal to the number of years of waiting, then humanly, his elasticity of patience is unpresidented. And friends, mark you, sometimes we miss the great intervention to the dire or desperate needs of lives by a hire’s breath due short-lived patience.
We however, are most often than not, an impatient lot. We are without the discipline to be still and therefore without the patience to wait. We will rather rush, cut corners, use our influence and connections to hastily get what we want. We must however note that our impatience does not translate to God’s righteousness.
Patience pays and that is a fact. It is here confirmed, going by what we see of this man’s reaping. He waited and had healing reach him and not he reaching healing in a stirred pool. In waiting and never giving up, he had he who owns the pool and stirs it, reached him and healed him.
It then means that holding ourselves and never resorting to shoddy ways to getting our heart desires attained, or our desperate situations changed, but patiently, actively and faithfully pursuing whatever it is as a child of God, at the end of the day, decorates and marks you out with the godly virtue of patience-the ability to wait. For waiting on God never disappoints. And as Jesus came into the life of this thirty-eight year old, did it for him differently and made the desired difference, so will he sovereignly come into the life of all who wait on him and bring an end to their waiting. Jesus will always ask those who cultivate the habit of patiently waiting for him to act, to take the mat of whatever disease, issue, problem, need, expectation, desire and dream and go. For Jesus is the ever stirred pool of of our healing-he heals our diseases; of our comfort-he takes away our sorrows; of our forgiveness, he forgives our sins; of our salvation, he saves us from destruction, of our breakthrough, he alone makes a way where there seems not be a way; of our open doors, for when he opens, no one shuts, when he shuts, no one opens; of our promotion, he alone promotes; of our blessings, for when he blesses no one can curse. Yet for these to come to pass , most often than note we need to wait and sometimes protractedly so.
Note however, that the years of waiting and struggling not withstanding, the Lord will do it for them who solely depend on him. And being an unconventional God, he will not always do it the normal way-the way of our expectation or the way you want, but he will do it anyway.
By what pool are you right now? By your pool of disease healing, know that no pool no matter how stirred, heals without Jesus, by your bank of financial longing, no bank grants your request without Jesus’ approval, on your queue of employment seeking, your are not employed without Jesus creating the slot, at your desperate hours of just any need, just wait looking on Jesus the one who makes the impossible possible.
DO ALWAYS LOOK TO JESUS THE EVER STIRRED POOL OF YOUR ROUNDED BLESSINGS.