“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.” — John 5
For 38 years, this man had lived with this infirmity. He had experienced 38 years of brokenness, hurt and pain; of doing the same thing, but going home in the same condition; and watching others get what they came for while he received nothing.
The infirmity caused him to not be able to function like most of us. Yet, he had enough faith in this pool that he continued to come back.
Some come into churches Sunday after Sunday. They faithfully keep coming to the house of God — much like this man had come to this pool. It is a set thing. They will not be absent. You will not take a chance that there could be a troubling of the waters at your church this Sunday! Keep faithful to God, and he will be faithful to you!
This man waited patiently. He waited in faith that his chance may come one day! He waited to be made whole. Those are the specific words Jesus asked him: “Wilt thou be made whole?” He did not verbatim ask “Would you like to be healed?” or “Would you like to go to heaven?” or even “Would you like a million bucks?” He asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?”
When I read where Jesus asked this question, I realized that is where most of us are. More than anything, people want to be made whole!
Our problem is, sometimes, we don’t feel like we are whole. Something is missing. Just as this man needed to be made whole, we need to be made whole.
Often, the problem is many of us have not found that place of wholeness that we can only have through Christ! We need Jesus to touch us.
Yet, while we come to the pool today for different reasons, it is ultimately the same reason.
We feel in part and not the whole, whether a bitter divorce led us to a place of feeling inadequate, a debilitating disease has left us unable to do what we used to do, or perhaps an abusive past has left us broken and ashamed. Maybe a financial mistake or a job loss has left us feeling like we are not what we used to be. Whatever the problem is, many don’t feel whole!
Look a little deeper at the Scripture: Notice what the answer to the question Jesus asked: “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool.” Perhaps his delay in healing was he thought he needed somebody else to improve his condition. While others can help us and can do positive things for us, ultimately it is Christ who will make us whole.
What we need more than anything is not somebody to put us in the pool, but Jesus to come by and touch us today. He can make us whole.
I ask you the same question: Do you want to be made whole today?
Tommy Crutchfield is the pastor of Life UPC of Hinesville and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.