Please notice two things:
There is no healing in a stagnant pool. To make forward progress in water, you must create waves. Ifthere is no stirring, there is no healing.
There is no healing in a stagnant spiritual life either. We’ll see in just a moment that if we remain stagnant for too long, we won’t be able to answer the question, “Will you be made whole?”
Grief promotes stagnation. All enthusiasm and motivation subside when the painful waves of grief capsize the soul. That’s normal. It’s okay to lose focus and passion, but remember the healing process requires movement.
Don’t move rashly or prematurely, but please move. Don’t lie down and die. Even after significant physical surgeries, the patients are required to stretch and move.
Notice that the first to embrace the troubling of the water was made whole.
Human nature is to reject the trouble — but if we would embrace it and wrestle with it and talk about it and face it and cry about it, we would make quicker progress in healing and growing from it.
There was a packed pavilion hosting hurting, hopeless people. When the water stirred, it was a fend-for-yourself mad dash for the pool. If you had lain for 38 years in impotency and each time you neared deliverance someone stepped on you and took your miracle, would that produce the fruit of the Spirit in you?
Would you bless the man who tripped and elbowed you and sentenced you to another year of impotency? This was a selfish environment, and the Scripture says that Jesus knew that this man had been there “a long time”. He had spent a long time in an environment where everyone wanted to be first. There wasn’t a servant’s heart among them.
It was crowded. It was hot. People were impatient. They were mad. They were waiting for the slightest ripple. One wonders if there were some false starts.
One wonders if a sudden gust of wind ever troubled the water and signalled the start of the stampede. The race began, and someone got there first. This person flopped headfirst into the slimy sheep pool and stood up-still impotent and even more discouraged than ever. Their chance was blown. What would the odds be that they could get there first when it really counted?
This is the setting of our story. This is the setting of many Christian lives. Hurting, powerless, and waiting for something supernatural to fix everything, people lie in a selfish state of pain. Now, read the beginning of our text again …
“Jesus went up to Jerusalem”,
Into this place, Jesus comes.
Into this story, Jesus walks.
Into our lives, Jesus enters.
Into the sheep market, the Lamb of GOD comes. Into the midst of impotency, walks Omnipotence. Into a slimy pool walks the Source of Living Water.
Credits – Amanda Buys