A Merciful Christ
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 March 2017
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 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. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 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? 7 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. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
he scene of Christ’s miracle happened at the Bethesda pool near the sheep market (or gate) of Jerusalem (v.2). A large number of sick people lied around that pool. They suffered from serious incurable physical ailments. Though there were supernatural healings occurring in the pool, a certain man with infirmities was unable to get to the pool to be healed. He had none to help him to get to the pool for healing. He had been suffering for 38 years.
Jesus did not pass by that man without compassion. He noticed his misery and felt deeply for him. His compassion was great because he “knew that he had been now a long time in that case.” The all-knowing Lord needed no information from anyone to know all about his misery. The moment He saw the impotent man, He could tell all about that man’s misery. In great mercy, He asked the man, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He asked that question because He was most willing to heal and restore him, both spiritually and physically. No one can help us like our merciful Lord. He knows our every need and His mercy is ever ready to help us through our miseries. Even we cannot know all the underlying problems of our troubles. But the Lord Jesus knows them all. Even if we know a lot about our troubles, we still can’t solve every one of them because we are not strong enough. How wonderful it is to trust in Jesus, the merciful One!
Why did Christ ask the question, “Will thou be made whole?” though He knew that the man was there with a strong desire to be healed? This is because Christ wanted to know whether he would exercise faith in Him to receive help. Christ is willing to help the believing ones. If the man does not believe that Christ can help without waiting for the water of the pool to be stirred by an angel, then it simply means that he rejects the divine power of Christ. Not believing in Christ is a great sin. Therefore his first desire must be to have deliverance from his sin by trusting in Christ. This will quickly bring about forgiveness of sin first and then even the blessing of physical healing from the long lasting sickness.
Let us boldly come to Christ to receive help for our needs.
O Lord Jesus, pass me not without helping me out of my trouble.