The woman who was blind bumped a crippled man. “Will you watch where you’re going, woman!” She had struggled to get through the crowd and now she was caught in a position that was uncomfortable. Even if I just fall into the Pool of Bethesda, that might heal me. She thought. She physically couldn’t see. She was surrounded by people just like her, who needed some type of cure in their bodies.
“The angel hasn’t come yet!”announced the crippled man. “When the angel comes to stir the waters….” He stopped to clear his throat..”When the angel..whoever gets in first, gets healed.They get healed. That’s what they get,..” The woman who had bumped him started to whimper.
“I….” some more tears came, “I can’t see the water.” The man looked at the woman and then at the pool’s water. He was also hopeful to get in the water.
“Such beautiful water.”
On the other side of the crowd on the fourth portico lay another man who had been sick for 38 years. He was in doubt that he could be healed, since it had been a long time to wait for this. There had been some days when he had asked someone to move him to the pool. No one did. No one cared to help. It was a miserable type of ‘hospital’, everyone around him was too weak to help. The man just lay on his cheek, his mind filled with nothingness.
The Pools of Bethesda were quiet at this time, the waters in the pool would move every so often and the sick gathered around would groan. They cried out sometimes in agony. It was a quiet moment, there was stillness in the atmosphere when Jesus entered the scene.
Jesus scanned the crowd with much compassion. Jesus had been in Jerusalem for a feast. Now he was here assessing the pool area. He noticed the man lying down on his cheek. He could tell that this man had had a long journey with his sickness.
‘It’s been a long time!’ Jesus whispered about the man. The man could tell that someone was peering over him. “Do you want to get well?” Were the words Jesus spoke. “Huh?” The man was stunned.
Jesus touched his cheek and started his question again, “Do you want…”
“I heard you…” The man spoke.”No one’s going to help me! They don’t want to help me into that water…and if I try to get into that pool, someone takes my place!”
Jesus smiled at the man. “Take up your mat and walk!” The appearance and health of the man changed instantly. He was well. He was healed. Excitedly he jumped to his feet, rolled up his mat and started walking away.
He was stopped by men who had strong Jewish beliefs and traditions of the Sabbath. There was not much activity occurring in Jerusalem because of the Sabbath day.
The men insisted that he move no further. “Who allowed you to walk with your mat?”
“The man who made me well! He did!” “Who was that?”
“I don’t know!”
The source of the man’s healing seemed a mystery to him. Who had healed him? He really wasn’t sure who had done it. But at least he hadn’t needed to step into the Pools of Bethesda. He was healed. He was elated. As to why the Jewish men were asking him these questions, perplexed him.
Jesus found the man later in the temple.
“You are now well! Don’t go astray anymore.”
“It was you. You healed me?” The man recognized Jesus.”Who are you?”
“Jesus, Jesus has healed me!” He turned away. “The one who healed me is Jesus,” he proclaimed as he went a way. “Jesus, the miraculous one. He healed me!”
Note: Find and read this story in John 5:1-17, this is a dramatized and partly fictional interpretation of the story.
Used with permission from Tanja Tuovinen.