Nobody wanted to waste time bothering themselves with an invalid.
After all, they think they’re better, faster, more perfect, more righteous, and more whole.
Of course an invalid has problems. They can all see that very clearly. They expect that from an invalid. And this invalid is no exception.
(Snickering) He can’t even get himself to the pool when the water is stirred. Why should I bother to help?
He’s not worth the time or the effort, they say to themselves.
<<< Fast forward 2000 years >>>
What Jesus did for the invalid at the pool, we need Him to do for us.
There’s just one problem.
We don’t realize that we are the invalid at the pool!
We have it in our minds that we are some form of Jesus. No, we would never come out and say that, especially to other people in the church. But who are we identifying ourselves with, if not the invalid? It must be Jesus.
We have it backwards! We aren’t the savior; we are the one needing to be saved!
But that goes against what we want to believe about ourselves.
We want to believe that we are the hero, the savior. We want to believe that we are more than capable of taking care of ourselves.
But it’s a lie!
Sin entered the world and perfection was destroyed along with all hope that we could ever get ourselves out of the situation we’re in.
And yet, satan whispers to us that we can. Just like the Garden of Eden, he slithers in and casts doubt on what God has said.
Maybe perfection wasn’t completely destroyed.
Maybe we can be good enough on our own.
Maybe Jesus had to die for other people, but I can get into heaven myself.
Maybe I don’t need a Savior. Maybe I can save myself.
And that is how the deception comes into our hearts and minds. Maybe that’s why Jesus chose to heal this man out of all of the people waiting for the pool to be stirred: because he recognized that he could NOT save himself. He had been brought to a place where he understood his need for a Savior and was willing to acknowledge his own inadequacy.
We need to fully acknowledge our inadequacy. We need to fully understand our need for a Savior.
After all, if we could save ourselves by doing good works or being baptized as a child into a particular religion, why did God Himself have to come out of heaven, be born in a manger, live a perfect life, perform countless miracles, die a horrible torturous death on a cross, and be resurrected on the 3rd day to finally ascend back into heaven where He was to begin with?
What was the reason for all that if we could somehow save ourselves?
We are the invalid. We need to understand that. We need to allow that to change the way we see ourselves and the way we see Jesus.
Now for the bonus question!
In this passage, John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes the point of telling us that this particular man had been an invalid for 38 years. Not that he had been an invalid from birth, but that he had been an invalid for 38 years.
What, if any, significance is there to the 38 years?
Please post your answers to the comments and let’s see who can come up with the answer to this!
There might even be a prize for the best answer and explanation!