Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda

by Sue Griffiths

So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick up your mat and walk’?  The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
John 5:12-13, NIV

It’s a feast time. Jesus is on His own, wandering through the city of Jerusalem, and He comes to the Pool of Bethesda. He goes in.

This is a place best avoided. People come here with their sick relatives: wounded people with broken limbs, sores, all manner of conditions not healing naturally. And sick people, dying; people coming hopelessly, as a last resort for diseases that won’t heal. They hope this holy spa might heal them.

And here Jesus comes across a man who has been at this place for thirty-eight years (verse 5)! Here he is, dropped off every morning and left to fend for himself; to plunge into the water by himself when this ‘angel’ suddenly appears. As if he could! He’s all alone and he can’t get up.

And Jesus talks to him. Next thing: Jesus tells the man to get up with his mat and walk. And he does! He doesn’t seem to notice Jesus, who slips away in the crowd.

The man doesn’t seem to know what to do. First, he goes to the temple, carrying his mat. He is told he mustn’t carry a mat, because it’s Sabbath. But he says that the person who healed him told him to carry it. Who healed you? He doesn’t know. He doesn’t go home. He seems in a complete daze. All he knows is that he is walking!

This man has been so wrapped up in his own misery, his incapacity, his rejection, his broken-heartedness and isolation, that he has missed Jesus.

A bit later, Jesus meets him again in the temple. Now he registers who his healer has been.  And Jesus says to him: ‘Go away and don’t sin any more or worse will happen to you.’

I think it may have taken this man quite a time to take in what Jesus has done for him. And a long time to acclimatise himself to living outside of an institution. A long time to recover who he is; to notice people other than himself and his own needs and wants. But Jesus knew him and who he had been. And Jesus loved him – with his depression and bitterness – and brought healing to him.

Sue Griffiths Sue found deep inner healing through the teaching and ministry at Ellel ministries and is now part of the associate ministry team at Ellel Grange. Previously, Sue was a specialist in English Literature and a vicar’s wife. Her passion is to see others coming into freedom in Christ in their personal lives. Sue’s an outdoors person, loves gardening, walking, and many creative things. She and Richard, her husband, now live in Northumberland and enjoy a great family of 3 grown up kids and some grandkids.


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