One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. John 5:5
We read in other stories of the compassion of Jesus for huge crowds, but here the eyes and heart of the Son of God are drawn to one man.
There was nothing to make this man stand out from scores of others lying on mats around the pool. He would have been lost in the crowd to us, but no one is ever lost in the crowd to Jesus.
“Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time…” (5:6). Most likely he suffered from some form of lameness or partial paralysis, because Jesus says to him, “Take up your bed, and walk” (5:8). The man had some limited movement because when he is explaining to Jesus why he was never the first one in the pool, he says, “While I am going another steps down before me” (5:7).
Take in what this man’s difficult and sad life was like. Every day he makes his way to the therapy pool, marks out his spot, and lies down on his mat. When the waters stir, he gets in. When he gets out, his condition is the same as it was before. His only hope was that something amazing might happen if he could be the first to get in, but that was beyond his ability.
That was this man’s life for 38 years! This middle-aged man’s whole life had been one of frustration—a daily routine of getting to the pool, waiting for the waters to stir, getting in, getting out, getting dried, getting home, and coming back again the next day.
Do you feel like your only hope is that something amazing might happen? Why?