John 5:1 – 18
1. After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2. Now there is a pool at the Sheep Gate at Jerusalem, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches.
3. In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, of blind, lame, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and troubled the water. Then whoever first stepped in after the troubling of the water was made whole of whatever disease he had.
5. And a certain man was there, who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
6. When Jesus saw him lying, and knowing that he had spent much time, He said to him, Do you desire to be made whole?
7. The infirm man answered Him, Sir, when the water is troubled; I have no one to put me into the pool. But while I am coming, another steps down before me.
8. Jesus says to him, Rise, take up your bed and walk.
9. And immediately the man was made whole and took up his bed and walked. And it was a sabbath on that day.
10. Therefore the Jews said to him who had been healed, It is the sabbath. It is not lawful for you to take up the bed.
11. He answered them, He who made me whole 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. And he did not know Him who had cured him, for Jesus had moved away, a crowd being in the place.
14. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, Behold, you are made whole. Sin no more lest a worse thing come to you.
15. The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole.
16. And therefore the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath day.
17. But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work.
18. Then, because of this, the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but also said that God was His father, making Himself equal with God.
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem for a special feast –the Feast of the Jews – when He found the paralytic at Bethesda. Jesus would have passed merchants selling fish, lamb, and other food in the open-air market. He would have noticed children playing in the streets and heard the haggling of shopkeepers trying to earn a day’s living. He would have seen women selling brightly coloured shawls and fabric and would have smelled freshly baked bread warming over an open grill. Though hundreds of activities and people could have distracted Him, He walked straight to the paralytic at Bethesda.
Jesus walks straight to you as well. Yes, He has famines to end, new starts to hang, tortured Christians calling His name, diseases to tend to, and planets to rotate, but He still sees you in the midst of your need and walks straight to you.
It’s interesting to note that the paralytic was so intensely focused on the water’s surface, he didn’t notice who was in his presence.
How often are you so focused on your own problems that you fail to notice the King of kings is standing next to you waiting to meet your needs? We get so busy looking to other sources for answers that we forget to notice Jesus is the answer!
Yes, Jesus asked the paralytic what seemed a silly question. But He had to get the man’s attention. What does He have to do to get your attention? He’ll go to great lengths to get it. His death and resurrection should be enough to capture your attention.
Eventually He’ll command the attention of everyone in the world when they’ll bow and confess that He is Lord on the Day of Judgement. Are there things or people you’re so focused on right now that they’re interfering with your full attention to Jesus Christ?
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord go this way and that, through all the earth, letting it be seen that he is the strong support of those whose hearts are true to him. In this you have done foolishly, for from now you will have wars.
Lamentations 3:22 – 26
22. It is through the Lord's love that we have not come to destruction, because his mercies have no limit.
23. They are new every morning; great is your good faith.
24. I said to myself, The Lord is my heritage; and because of this I will have hope in him.
25. The Lord is good to those who are waiting for him, to the soul which is looking for him.
26. It is good to go on hoping and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord.