Lending a Hand in a Time of Need
Pastor Charlie Rousey
John 5:1-7, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 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. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me."
Jesus and His disciples were traveling around Israel in John 4 and 5 with the intent of impacting people's lives. Jesus brought the Gospel to Samaria and healed the son of a nobleman nearby. In the midst of all this, Jesus asked His disciples to “lift up their eyes” and see a world in great need that they can help. He admonished them not to think of help coming at another time or by other hands but to work in the moment with their own hands and lives. Others have labored in the past, and they were to act now to bring this work to completion.
In John 5, we now see Jesus enter into the city of Jerusalem with the same men. They encounter a multitude of impotent people that are seeking help at the pool of Bethesda. With His eyes lifted up, Jesus engages one man in conversation and asks him a very profound question, “Wilt they be made whole?” The man’s response to Jesus was that there is no one that will help him. For the last few months, many of our friends have felt much the same way. Being quarantined can make you feel isolated, alone, and like no one cares.
If I lift up my eyes, I am sure there are people around me that are in need of help. Jesus sets an example to each of us about stopping along our long and arduous journey and showing people around us kindness. Bethesda means “House of Kindness” so let’s all lift our eyes up and see who is in need. Who can I lift up, who can I encourage, who can I show that they are not alone and without help?
This story ends with a great miracle. Let’s remember that Jesus is the Living Water, He is the giver of life, and only He offers true and permeant healing. In all of our help, let’s be sure that we are pointing people to the One who can truly help, and let’s help them get to Him.