Summary: This is Chapter 3 of John On the Run: A Survey of the Bible New Testament Book of John. Pick up a copy of this book at https://www.amazon.com/John-Run-Survey-Bible-Testament-ebook/dp/B01MXR29PB/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 .
I went to the doctor, because my head was hurting. The pain in my head was very intense and excruciating. My doctor diagnosed me as being obese and having high blood pressure. I was instructed to lose weight. I lost fifty pounds very slowly over a period of five years. I am in the best shape of my life.
As I began the process of weight loss, I saw many obese people. These were people who were in my life in one way or another. I concluded that they were just as sick as I was or even worst.
How would I ever get well if I would continue to be around these sick people? If I was going to lose weight then I would have to surround myself with people who practice healthy living. Their lifestyle choices would help to motivate me to do the same. The point being is you cannot hang around people who are as sick as you are and expect to be made well.
The Place of Disabilities (John 5: 1-4)
The place of disabilities was a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, which is surrounded by five covered colonnades called, “Bethesda.” Bethesda means house of mercy. This was a modern day hospital healing pool. It was a place where people who were ill could be healed. It was our modern day hospital emergency room. If you have ever been to an emergency room in any major city, you could be in for a very long wait. There is a triage system. Your emergency is rated. The pool of disabilities had a wait line that was years long. In order to be healed, you would have to be the first one in the pool as the waters took on a whirlpool effect. “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had”. John 5:4 KJ Let me let you in on a little secret. In newer bible translations John 5:4 is omitted, put in parentheses, or footnoted. I only mention this because of the way I am going to interpret the text later. Jesus is going to asked the men who have been sick for thirty-eight years, “Do you want to be healed?”
I believe Jesus asked this question, because the healing at the pool was a folklore. I do not believe that there was angel that came down to trouble the waters. I believe that all these sick people were waiting in vain. Newer manuscripts do not have this verse included in this chapter.
The Problem of Delay (John 5:5-7)
As I said earlier, I believe that the people who were sick by the pool were believing in folklore. This is compared to the modern day belief of some people who believe in faith healers. People who have an ongoing illness are some of the most desperate people in the world. As a result, they will seek help in some of the most insidious places and people.
Therefore, I think the problem with the delay of his healing was he was in the wrong place for healing to take place. Also, how could someone who is an invalid be the first person in the pool when the water stirred? This invalid was in a place where he would never be healed.
I think the invalid believe that he could be healed. However, I think the invalid was belief was incorrect. When you belief is incorrect, it is compared to not believing at all. We all have had incorrect beliefs at some times in our lives regarding the wrong person, place, or thing.
An incorrect belief in the wrong person, place, or thing can leave us discourage and disabled. Jesus can show up in our lives like he with the invalid and deliver us from a hopeless situation. Jesus showed up on the scene and ask the invalid an awkward question. I believe Jesus ask this awkward question, because the belief system of this invalid was incorrect. In John 5:6 it states, “ When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
The Person of Deliverance (John 5:8-9)
What an odd question to ask someone who is an invalid. On the surface it seems like an insult. After all, the invalid was doing all he could do to be healed. The invalid believed that he could be healed. The invalid was at a place to be healed. The invalid was waiting for the waters to be troubled. The invalid was at the starting line to race to the waters. The invalid had been sick for thirty-eight years. Then Jesus comes along and ask the invalid, “Do you want to be heal?”