Now there was in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool... called Bethesda, which had five roofed colonnades.
Bethesda means 'House of Mercy', and that was an appropriate name for this place in Jerusalem because it was full of people who had many different and severe health problems. Those around the place were blind, lame, paralysed, and some had been there a very long time.
Jesus visited this House of Mercy on a Sabbath day. No doubt Jesus had words of sympathy and encouragement for all the people at Bethesda but we read that he only healed one. Why only one? We don't know, but it may well have been because Jesus knew this one man had been an invalid for 38 years and had been at Bethesda for a very long time. Jesus asked the man 'do you want to be healed?' It sounds like a strange question yet we know that many paralysed people earned their living by begging. Perhaps this man wouldn't know how to cope with being healed.
Anyway we know that Jesus healed him and he walked away cured. Later on Jesus found the man in the temple. Was he there thanking God for the healing he received? I'm sure that he was. But then Jesus said to him, "You look wonderful! You're well! Don't return to a sinning life or something worse might happen." (verse 14, The Message) We don't know if the man's illness had been a direct result of his sin but Jesus clearly showed him how he should live a life from then on that was pleasing to God. We trust he did.
Dear Lord, you have done so much for me. I thank you so much. Amen.