“He might have gotten better on His own. It was just a coincidence that Jesus said that the boy would be healed and that the boy was healed in the same hour. There is no reason to believe that Jesus had anything to do with the boy’s healing.” The skeptics may lay on thick the excuses that in their minds would undermine the evidence. Instead of objectively viewing evidence as evidence, they seek to rationalize a different explanation for the miraculous, not realizing that their own, creative hypothesis only lacks one important thing, evidence.
In answer to the skeptics, John continues on with the telling of the story of Jesus. Following the healing of the nobleman’s son, Jesus headed into Jerusalem. Along the way, he came across a part of town where dozens of lame, maimed, and injured were scattered around the edges of a pool of water. Everyone knew the tradition of this area; it was the pool of Bethesda, a place where the mighty healing power of God was revealed annually.
Unlike modern day “faith healers,” after beginning His ministry, Jesus went directly to where there was suffering. He didn’t need to fill a 50,000 person stadium to perform His miraculous healing. He didn’t need people to come in with indiscernible “tumors” or fake walkers. He went to the hospital and nursing home to heal the one who everyone had seen lay on the ground with an infirmity for longer than Jesus had been alive. This was not an injury that suddenly appeared once Jesus began His ministry, this was a malady that haunted this man for decades.
With the humility that only Christ could exhibit, Jesus walked up to the man and asked him a basic question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” In essence He said, “Do you want to be healed?” In a statement that was so revealing of the condition that all humanity is bound in, the man acknowledged that he couldn’t save himself and that for 40 years there had been no one else that could save him. This truly was a testament to what Jesus was about to discreetly accomplish.
Where no one else could help him, Jesus could. He had come as the great Physician to relieve the suffering brought on the human race by sin. Now in compassion, He said to the man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” There was no roar of the crowd in applause. There was no theatrics and swinging of His cloak in the air. It was the simple, humble, miraculous power of God in Jesus.
“They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Later in his ministry Jesus would make this same point, but He would say it in regards to sin not just physical disease. He went on to say, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Here in a picture, He demonstrated what His real purpose was. All men everywhere are helpless in and of themselves. They have a seriously debilitating sin problem. There is no power, or formula, or religion, or church that can heal this sin problem. Only Jesus can fix it.
Like the man, if we come in faith to Jesus, we can find healing from our problem of sin. It would not be enough to be released from physical ailments, because having no cancer and having working legs does not prevent a sinner from going to Hell. 1 John 1:9, tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Food For Thought: Explain how that the details that John includes lets us know that Jesus and this lame man didn’t fake this healing scenario? (hint: the age of the man)