Healing the Impotent Man

John 5:1  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, having five porches.

It is believed that this feast in John 5:1 was the Feast of Purim.  By traveling to Jerusalem, Jesus observed the Feast.  Jesus went to a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.  Bethesda means “house of mercy” and the number five represents “mercy or grace”.  Since John did not mention one of the three major feasts by name, it is possible that is was Purim since in John 6:4 we see that now Passover was at hand.  Hence the feast prior to Passover would have been Purim, a winter feast just prior to Passover.

:3  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

How is this scene different from today?  What if the “moving of the water” indeed is to represent a great movement of the Holy Spirit?  Have people been in a paralyzed state waiting on something tangible to happen?  Have people been sitting in “houses of mercy” or churches simply waiting and hoping for a move of the Holy Spirit?  Are the sick being healed?  Are the blind eyes being opened?  Are the lame able to walk?  If you can’t walk, then your feet cannot be prepared with the gospel of peace.  The paralyzed people are unable to move.  Why?  Could it be that their focus is on something other than the “here and now”?

: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.

The first mention of an angel and water is in Genesis 16:7: And the angel of the LORD found her (Hagar) by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur (wall).  This angel was expressing mercy to Hagar.  Hagar represents the bondwoman or “bondage”.  All of these people around the fountain were in bondage and were waiting on an angel or messenger to release them from their infirmity.

:5  Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

I have heard many messages preached about this man representing Israel, referencing the thirty-eight years in the wilderness as a result of their unbelief to enter into the Promised Land.  What if the impotent man represents the Pentecostal Church Age?  The church age is the age of being in the wilderness and has relied on “grace” due to them having “sin in the camp”.  This age is known by the presence of leaven in the bread.

: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?”

Jesus knew of his long-term impotence.  We would call that a chronic problem.  Could the long-term refer to 2,000 years of the “Church Age”?

:7  The sick (impotent) 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.”

The man did not know Jesus The Healer.  The man was relying on some sign to bring him to wholeness.  However, he indicates that there is no one to help him into the water, every man for himself.  The epitome of self-centeredness.  There is no sacrifice of Love.

:8  Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

Jesus did not expound some long, calculated prayer.  He was in command and had power and authority over the man’s impotence.  Love spoke and the body responded.

The Book of Esther is all about Love taking action to save mankind from death and destruction.  Esther fulfilled her calling and the Jews were spared from certain death by Haman.  Tomorrow is Purim.  May the manifestation of the healing of the impotent man take place!

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