After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda,[a] having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.[b] 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. John 5:1-15
When Jesus came upon this man who had been sick for 38 years he was not the only one who was sick. There were sick people that surrounded him on every side. But it is interesting that the Lord went to this man and did not heal everyone who was there at that time. There were times in the gospels when the Lord healed everyone, but like this account there were times when the Lord healed a select few.
There is a divine mystery to healing. When people come to the Lord and ask Him to heal them, He doesn’t always heal them. Is healing still available today and the answer is yes. But I think when we examine this man at the pool we see that he had been in this condition for 38 years. For those 38 years he missed out going into the pool and day after day as he lived in this condition, his heart was being prepared for the day that he would meet Jesus.
See often times when the Lord closes a door or doesn’t move right away we often feel like we have been forgotten. But what is happening in the depths of our hearts is that our hearts are being prepared to meet Jesus. God has an appointed time when He will move in every situation. His timing and His ways are higher than ours. The Lord has called us to trust Him and bring all things before Him in prayer.
If we are dealing with a sickness or a condition in which we need a touch from the Lord we should never relent in the place of prayer. The Lord told us to ask, seek, and knock and the door would be open to us. These three things speak of a continuous action and unless the Lord gives us a definitive no like He did with the apostle Paul and the thorn in the flesh, we should continue to bring all things before Him in prayer and go forward to receive prayer. We don’t know the day when the Lord will touch us and all things will be changed for the rest of our lives.
Also when we examine the man for 38 years we see that 38 years is a very long time. Many times when we wait on the Lord for a long time it seems as if the Lord has forgotten us, but this is not the case. God’s desire more than anything is our character and our maturity. There is a supernatural work that takes place in our hearts when we wait upon the Lord. Waiting is hard, but it is part of the journey God has for us.
The other thing that is mystifying about this whole account is the reaction of the religious leaders who were not in awe of the miracle that had taken place, they instead were offended that Jesus would perform a miracle on the Sabbath. They were blinded by their pride and their traditions. And many today in the body of Christ are still blinded by their own pride and traditions. We need to always walk in humility because it is in the place of humility that our eyes will be open to see and ears open to hear.
So today if you are waiting on the Lord for anything take heart He will move in His due time and He is always faithful to fulfill His plans and His purposes. Between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise is the waiting and it is during this time that Satan will try to overwhelm us with doubt and discouragement. Take heart and be encouraged because the Lord has you in His hand and by His grace and power He will bring all things to pass.