The man is threatened with something worse happening. Something that is worse than being a helpless invalid in despair for 38 years of his life. In this instance we see the man soon disobeying Jesus and betraying Him to the authorities. This is in stark contrast to the story of the blind man where he defends Jesus fearlessly in front of the Pharisees. The blind man, after being interrogated by the Pharisees who were trying to get him to say Jesus was a sinner for healing on the Sabbath replied, in John 9:32-33
"Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." Yet Jesus chose to heal both men. He showed even more grace and mercy in healing the lame man who would betray Him, than he did the blind man who would defend Him.
Why is the story of how Jesus healed one man two thousand years ago relevant to us today? It is because He shows the same mercy and deals with us in the same way as he dealt with that one lame man then. I believe that in these few verses is a great insight into how Jesus is able to touch our lives and heal us.
In the same way that the man at the pool needed healing, we too need that touch. After years of trying to live our lives our way we find ourselves in a tangled mess. What things are you doing that you know you shouldn’t? What addictions or problems are you facing that you don’t know how to deal with? Do you suffer with the guilt of the hurt you have caused to other people? Have you got any bitterness? Are you hurting today because of what others have done to you? If you are then just like the invalid by the pool you aren’t alone as Romans 3:23 says ’for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ There are many others in the same situation. This might be your first time here, or you might have been for 38 years and seen others touched but never felt that healing yourself.
You may have tried everything and looked everywhere. Whatever the pool that you are looking to for healing you haven’t found it. You may have tried the doctors, councillors, spiritualists or even the Church and not yet found the healing that you are looking for. I want to suggest to you that you might be looking to the pool but missing the saviour. You may even be a Christian and looking for healing from a particular illness or a particular sin. For years you have been asking Jesus to heal you your way, to help you get to the pool, instead of just giving the problem to him. If that is the state that you find yourself in today then Jesus is ready and able to heal.
Just as Jesus made the first move with the lame man, so he has also made the first move with you. But you might think, Jesus has never approached me! I have never known or felt his touch! The fact is Romans 5:8 tells us different in that ’... While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ While you were creating the problem, Jesus was undergoing incredible pain and suffering in order to provide the answer. In allowing himself to be brutally crucified, Jesus was making the first move.