The Bible is filled with interesting stories of redemption and restoration. True stories that bear testament of the goodness of God and His unfailing favor that transforms even people of the lowest insecurities to become men and woman of outstanding confidence.
One story is of a man at the pool. His story is found in the book of John 5:1-17. I will attempt to recite as vividly as possible this layer of the story and you should try to portrait it in your mind. John 5:3, “Here a great number of disabled people used to lay-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.” At this pool were such an incredible number of people, the pool called Bethesda, translated from Hebrew linguistic, called the pool of mercy. This is where the Grace of God was on parade. This pool of mercy didn’t deliberate whether or not one had sinned or was still in sin. So long as you strode into it; your health was effortlessly restored.
John 5:2“…which is called in the Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches,” this river had five porches where all these ineffective people sat in order to stride into the pool. Five being a biblical number of Grace, this implying that these people had done nothing to deserve this goodness, unmerited favor indeed. All they had to do was to believe on the ability of the pool to make them whole. They did not have to cleanse themselves or purify themselves first to be made whole by the pool.
All this pool of mercy was just God screening what a great era was imminent. This was a shadow of what Jesus would be to mankind. This pool of mercy would be personified into Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Himself. Full of Grace. Just as a porch is a place where people put benches and sits, so as to rest and islobby to the main open way, so is Jesus, he gives us rest facing the goodness of God, just as these porches faced this pool of mercy. So as we rest in Jesus, he is the entrance into the pool of God’s favor, mercy and everything good in our lives.
Back to the presentation, John 5:5, “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” Let us just visualize this man, just imagine his insecurity because in the next verse when Jesus asked him, “wilt thou be made whole,” he rambled on how he did not have anyone to carry him into the pool, how when he tried to go in, another person went before him. In the previous verse, it mentions how at this pool were even blind people, withered and all helpless people. I am sure his level of insecurity and fear was nothing like any person you could ever know or think about. Are you telling me that this man for thirsty eight years had no relative, friend, neighbor, sibling, parent, next of kin, or pastor that he had in his life to help him get into this pool? Just imagine his loneliness, his seclusion and self-doubt.
Let us shade this with the canvas of our imagination, see him wake up in the morning heading to the pool, and on his way there, bowing his head in shame, seeing people in the nook of his eyes that were in the same condition or even worse. As he elevates his head, he perceives these people with infirmities having a support system, either a friend or relative, and see him crossbow his head down when he comprehends that he will be in the same routine the following day whereby he goes to the pool alone, and goes back home in an unchanged condition, still desolate, still impotent, still abandoned, still insecure and still in captivity.This man was even superseded by even blind men and women.
Year after year, there was someone who was even worse than the situation he was in I am pretty sure, but still, he could not make it into the pool. He would witness men and women who were in an inferior state than he was in, and he was an eye witness of these people being carried by either a friend of relative into the pool and coming out delivered and liberated from pain, infirmity and impotence. I can see this man’s confidence and security deteriorate year after year.
Failure and setback was immune to him. Jesus asked him a close ended question which required a simple yes or no, John 5:6, “Do you want to get well?” but his thirty eight years of stagnancy and insecurity compelled him to outline so many reasons of why he wasn’t delivered after that long and I bet a ray of hope shone in his heart as he heard someone take a moment of their time to ask him that question.
I just love the response of Jesus. With such ease and Grace, John 5:8, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” He did not say, “How useless! How weak!Are you serious?What a loser!You are not serious!You are playing! He had every right to reprimand and curse this man but how graceful was He. Jesus didn’t consider this man’s action but his heart. His action was for him to get into the pool, but this man, him just being at the porch showed that his heart longed to be helped and healed. His heart longed to find himself in the pool.
Today, we do not have to struggle to be healed, to get victory or prosperity. Jesus today is the pool of mercy; He comes to us like he went to this man. All we have to do today is to sit in Grace. Like all the impotent people sat at the five porches. Today this Grace is even greater, we do not have to struggle or look for the wittiest ways to earn God’s goodness like most men had outsmarted the man who was stagnant for thirty eight years. Today, Jesus comes to us like he did go to the man. He is the pool of mercy personified. He doesn’t need us to be strong or smart to get His favor. Just like the people believed in the ability of the pool to become whole not on their ability or wisdom or goodness for the pool to make them whole. Today we have a superior Pool; He does not need us to be smart or try purifying ourselves to make us whole. He is that perfect pool that wants us to believe in His ability to complete us.
This first part was just to show Grace. The story goes on but you will have to see the effect of Grace in my next post. I will be deliberating on the life after the healing which is part 2 of the story of the Jesus, our pool of mercy.