He must have been sitting there for years. His clothes were dirty, his expression was gloomy, and his eyes looked hopeless. He could not walk — not for the past 38 years.
Jesus saw the lame man and knew he was not a new visitor. Christ knew this man could not walk and was lowered into place by the pool, hopelessly waiting for a miracle.
The pool of Bethesda was surrounded with sick, old, disabled people just waiting for a healing miracle. The superstition that an angel went down to the pool of Bethesda and troubled the waters to heal any disease caused desperation and selfishness among the sick.
Christ saw the despair in these people’s hearts.
He walked up to the lame man and asked, “Do you want to be healed?”
The man responded hopelessly, “I don’t have anybody to help me go into the pool. While I’m trying, someone steps down in front of me and enters the water.”
Jesus smiled and said, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.“
Before the lame man could say or do anything else, he was healed. He stood on his feet and walked away.
As the man began walking, the Jews saw what happened and realized that Christ had done another miracle on the Sabbath. Rather than opening their eyes to the Savior and His work, the Jews remained blinded by their traditions. Instead of being grateful for witnessing a miracle, they were angry at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath.
Christ searched and found the healed man in the temple and declared that he was made whole. The lame man’s faith was strengthened, so he went and told the Jews that the Savior, the long-promised Messiah, gave him salvation.
When He heard that the Jews were angry at Him for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus explained to them that He was doing the work of the Father. The opportunity to see such miracles was a gift, a chance to build faith.