Once upon a time long ago there was a pool of water named Beth. She was in a large city near a gate that people used to enter the city. Around the pool were 5 patio’s with large arch shaped ceilings and in each of these patios there were a large number of sick, blind or lame people.
Now before I tell you about Beth, I need to explain to you what water is really like. You see water is like the most basic thing to life that there is. If anything knows about life, its water. For most of the earths life forms live in water, need water to live and are made of mostly water. In fact you and I are over 90% water. Now you also need to realize that each body of water has a personality and a job and that job is to manage life itself. Yes the bodies of water on this world are all involved in some aspect of managing life on this world. Some in local areas like lakes and rivers and others like oceans managing life across the major continents even the whole world. So basically water is really important and guess what – the bodies of water on this planet know it. Yes the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and even ponds all know how important they are and because they do, they are all pretty arrogant (you know – kind of proud and stuck up).
Now Beth was no different and she was even more arrogant than most other bodies of water since from time to time and angel would actually come and stir up Beth up giving her the temporary power to heal the first person who stepped into her after the angel left. Well this fact made Beth sure that she was quite important because there were no other pools or lake or rivers where this happened. Yes Beth was unique and everyone who was sick or blind or injured knew it too and they all crowed into the patios around Beth to wait for the Angel to come back and stir Beth up again. When that did happen Beth would have a great time watching the people all try and get up and race into her. It was quite an event and in a way just like all the reality game shows on TV today where the show is more about how the losers lose than how the winners win and Beth took more interest in seeing how hurt and disappointed those who did not win would get than in how happy the one who did win was. In fact she pretty much ignored the one who was healed while she closely watched the cries of pain and tears of hopelessness on the faces of the people who were not first in.
Now there was man laying their in one of the patios who had been sick for almost 50 years. You see many ago when he was young he had gotten sick when messing around with something he should not have been messing with. The result was life of illness and now he was very old and very weak, he could no longer walk and his life consisted of lying on a mat. Of course not being able to walk there was no way he could compete with all the other people to be first into the pool of water. No matter how hard he tried, he never moved fast enough to get a spot close enough to Beth to be the first one in when the Angel stirred the waters. As you can imagine this man felt pretty hopeless. There were just too many sick and injured people, he had no one to help him and the Angel just did not come and stir Beth up that often. Beth liked to watch this man though because he would try and would get pretty upset when he failed. Beth used to laugh at him a lot because he just never quit trying but never made it. Beth decided he was the one with the poorest luck of any of those who came to her waters and it made her laugh to see him so hopeless.
Well one day the man was doing his normal thing, trying to creep nearer the pool and of course he was being pushed away by younger people when another younger man walked up to him and said “Do you wish to get well?”. The old man wondered why this question was asked for he obviously was laying near as he could to Beth and everyone knew about Beth’s temporary healing powers so he figured the younger man was really asking if he needed help getting to the water when it stirred so instead of saying Yes I want to get well, instead he said, “Sir, I have no one to help me get into the water when it stirs, and someone always beats me in”. You see for him Beth was the only way to get healed so he answered in a way that would get him help. He was conditioned to see only one answer to his problem – Beth.
Now of course Beth also had the same perspective. She hear the conversation and interpreted the question is exactly the same way. So when the younger man answered she almost burst out laughing , Now of course water cant laugh but if she could she would have for the mans answer was ridiculous. For he answered “Pick up your mat and walk.” .
Beth was still chuckling to her self and about to call the younger man an idiot or something worse when the old man stood up, picked up his mat and started to walk. Beth just stared! The old man had been healed and he had been healed without the Angel stirring her up and without him getting in. That was impossible she thought – but it was happening for she could now see the man happily telling others he was healed and hopping all around. In fact he was making so much fuss that some religious leaders that were passing by asked him why he was carrying his mat because back then doing any work on Saturday was against the religious rules, even carrying a mat.
He told them that a man had healed him by just saying a few words. When they heard this they got really upset and so did Beth. She was the only one who could heal on Saturday, who was this man who also was breaking the rules. After all healing was work. At this she looked about for the younger man but he had slipped away into the crowd. Later that day she overhead some people saying that the religious leaders learned the name of the younger man and began to seek to persecute him for they did not like him healing the people when they could not. Beth was glad to hear this because she too didn’t like what he did either. It was just too easy she thought, no angel, no rush into my waters, no winner and no losers. Nope, it just wasn’t right she hoped the religious leaders would track the younger man down and stop him from healing once and for all. But that’s not exactly what happened.
You see the leaders did track the man down and did try everything they could to stop the man from healing those who were sick and injured. But they were not successful for the man kept on healing those who came to him and believed he could make them well. Ultimately the religious leaders captured him and then killed him. When they did they figured they had finally stopped him. But they did not for despite being tortured, killed and even buried this man came back to life and went right on healing those who believe in him. Do you know his name.. its Jesus.
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When Jesus returned to heaven he left his Spirit with us and today we continue to look to him for healing. First we look to him for healing from sin for its sin that often makes us sick. That happens when we don’t live the way God wants us to or we call right things that God calls wrong. When we do this we need to first come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and start agreeing with God about sin. Then when we pray for healing and believe he can provide it he will heal us , just as Jesus did for the lame man.
Do you pray when you are sick, Do you have compassion for the sick and pray for them ? You should because Jesus did and he has that compassion for you too.