Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that faith precedes healing, or at the very least, one must ask to be healed. Jesus proved this wrong.
In the city of Jerusalem, several invalids sat near a pool called Bethesda containing five covered colonnades. The covering provided shelter from extreme forms of weather. Additionally, it was thought that when the waters stirred the first one into the pool would be healed.
One Sabbath, Jesus passed by a stranger and realized, either divinely or through inquiry, that this man had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
“Do you want to be healed?” Jesus asked (John 5:6).
This question feels a little unnecessary. After all, who wouldn’t want to be healed? Jesus, though, used the question to draw attention to the man’s seemingly hopeless situation.
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me,” replied the man (John 5:7).
The invalid believed the waters were his only option. Perhaps he hoped someone would help him into the pool, but he wasn’t counting on it. Other than the occasional alms thrown his way, it wasn’t customary to associate with one such as himself; he wasn’t even allowed into the nearby temple to worship. After thirty-eight long years, he had surely despaired of ever experiencing healing.
Little did he know he was in the presence of the One who had called these very waters into being, calmed raging storms, and walked across the waves.
But it didn’t matter. Jesus wasn’t looking for someone with stellar faith or knowledge. He wasn’t waiting for the man to reach out—Jesus came directly to him: “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (John 5:8).
Society may have failed to see this man as a child of God. Society may have treated him unjustly and forgotten him. But injustice never stopped Jesus. Our Savior made His power known to a man who hadn’t even known his healer’s name.