1 Samuel 1:24-2:21; John 5:1-18; Psalms 105:37-45; Proverbs 23:4-5
NT: “After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. Within these lay a large number of the disabled — blind, lame, and paralyzed — waiting for the moving of the water, because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had. One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.” “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath.. Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.”” (John 5:1-9, 16-17 CSB)
Laying all around the Pool of Bethesda (house of mercy) was a crowd of blind, lame, and paralyzed, waiting for the stirring of the waters with hope that they would be healed. Isaiah 35:3-6 prophesied that the Messiah would strengthen weak hands, steady shaking knees, open blind eyes, unstop deaf ears, cause the mute to sing, and cause the lame to leap like a deer. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He was drawn to one man in particular – a lame man who had been wanting by the waters for healing for thirty-eight years. The lame man was apparently clueless as to who Jesus was… probably because he had spent the past 38 year laying by a pool. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, not knowing Who was speaking to him, he began to give excuses as to why that was not possible. How often to we do that? God desires to do something great to us or through us, and we give excuses as to why it can’t happen. God isn’t limited by our inability, and neither is His Son. While the lame man was still giving his excuses, Jesus authoritatively said to him, “Get up…” and the man got up and was instantly made well. Jesus didn’t lay hands on him. He didn’t do a song and dance routine or rock back and forth or do anything of the sort. Jesus simply spoke with authority and power. At the sound of Jesus’ word, the man stopped his excuses and stood up, grabbed his mat, and went on his way completely healed. All would have been fine, except the day that this occurred was a Sabbath. On his way home, the newly healed man was stopped by the Pharisees for unlawfully carrying a mat on the Sabbath… and to stay out of trouble with the Pharisees, the healed man later turned Jesus in. When questioned about His “working” on the Sabbath, Jesus responded, “My Father is still working, and therefore, I am working.” By saying “My Father” instead of “Our Father,” Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God… and went from being an accused Sabbath-worker to a blasphemer in the eyes of the Pharisees. This event was the 3rd sign that John highlighted from Jesus’ ministry to prove that Jesus is the Son of God and that we can have life in His name. Not only did Jesus fulfill Messianic prophecy, He also spoke with demonstrated power and authority and claimed to be the Son of God.