The Poolside Story

John 5  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
It was far more important than an ordinary swimming pool. It was a pool in Jeru-salem, and if you had been there you might have heard the bleating of sheep because there was a sheep market nearby.
Around this pool you would not find deck chairs and sunbathers; you would find sick people. The pool had five porches full of blind, diseased, crippled and paralyzed people. Some had friends with them, and some were alone. Some were sitting, and some were lying on bedrolls. All of them were waiting  .  .  .  waiting in their misery and their hope.
What were they waiting for?
God cared about their misery, and at a certain time of year He sent an angel to stir up the water. When that happened, there was great excitement among the sick and crippled who waited in hope. How they struggled to get into the pool! They knew that the first one, and only the first one, who stepped into the pool would be healed of whatever disease he had.
How we pity those poor people! If you had been there, perhaps you would have been a helper, but, of course, that would not be possible if you were crippled too. I wonder if you have ever faced the problem that you are crippled with sin - sin that you cannot erase and bad habits that you cannot break. Being tied up with sins, it is impossible to make your own way to God’s home of holiness and joy in heaven. Because of your sins, you are on your way to a lost eternity in hell.
Did you notice that it was an angel that stirred up the water, and that it was only the first person into the pool who was healed? But God has not sent an angel to set you free from your sins. God has sent His only begotten Son! And the promise is not to only the first who comes - it is to everyone who comes! Better still, the promise is not for the healing of the body for those who eventually will die anyway. No, this promise is for everlasting life -forever as a child of God in the Father’s house. How could anyone say, “I don’t care”?
Jesus, the Son of God, was by the pool one day. He saw a man there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus said to the sick man, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Today we would say, “Would you like to be healed?”
You would think that the man would say, “Yes!” But he didn’t! Instead, he began to explain about the pool and the stirring up of the water and that he had nobody to help him. Did he not know who was talking to him?
Then Jesus, who created our bodies, spoke with His authority and power and said, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” Immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his bedroll and walked.
The day on which this happened was the Sabbath, Saturday, the day which God had given to Israel as a day of rest. This quickly started an argument. It was against the Jews’ religion to carry anything on the Sabbath, and the healed man had carried his bedroll. They were right about this. God had promised six days of blessing and success if they were obedient, and then they were to have a day of rest. But Jesus came to a land of disobedience and misery, and He cared so much for their sorrows that He healed even on the Sabbath day. They had lost their success and their rest because of sin. But they cared more about their religion than about the loving Savior who came to set them free.
Who told you to carry your bed? they asked. But all the poor man could say was, I don’t know.
Is that your answer too? Don’t you care to know Jesus? He is the One who came into the world to save sinners. Your health comes from Him now, and an eternal life in heaven can never come from anyone but Jesus.
Jesus had slipped away among the crowd, and the healed man did not seem to care. But Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
It seems that with a healthy body, the man had not faced the problem of his sins. Have you? Do you know that sin is more serious than thirty-eight years of sickness, because sin can cause you to spend eternity in hell, and eternity means forever? Hell is the end of the road if you have no Savior.
The man left Jesus and then told those who had asked him that it was Jesus who had healed him. Their response was a plan to kill Jesus.
There we leave the man who was healed, in the company of the haters of Christ. This story is in John 5, but it says no more about him. As far as we know, he is still in that company. What is your company now? and for eternity? Is it Christ the Savior of sinners, or is it the haters of Christ? You may choose Him now, today. It may be too late to make a choice tomorrow.