A story is recorded in John 5 about “a man sick for 38 years” who “lay with many sick, blind, lame and withered people” (v.3) at the Pool of Bethesda waiting for the angel of healing to stir the waters. Whoever was in the pool at the time of stirring could be healed. Jesus saw this man and “could see he had been sick a long time” (v.6) and he asked the man, “Do you wish to get well.” This is perhaps the most important question concerning sickness and healing. If a person has begun to take their identity in being sick rather than being well, it is difficult to be healed.
This man answered, “I can’t, sir, for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” (v.7) Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! “He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!” (Vs. 8-9)
When we cannot get into the pool for healing we have someone who can lift us out and heal us before we get in. “Let us not despair, for because we could not come to the physician, he promised to come to us himself.” (St Augustine (354-430)
Bethesda means house of mercy or house of grace. If we have Mercy and Grace Himself we don’t need the Pool.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Jesus