The Man at the Pool

Jesus has come to the Pool of Bethesda. It is crowded with sick, injured and paralysed people, each one desperate for healing, hoping to be the first into this pool to be cured when the water is miraculously disturbed. Jesus sees a man He hasn’t noticed before. He asks about him and is told that he has been there a long time.

Then Jesus turns to him and asks, “Do you want to get well?” And the man answers, “Sir, I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7).

This man is so disappointed. Every day he has hoped for healing. Every day he has been there, waiting, trying, being frustrated and still never being healed. He’s been there thirty-eight years!

It’s in just this kind of situation where it’s easy to become bitter about what has happened to us. Disappointment can so easily become a deep kind of resentment towards others who always seem to have things go well for them. We can nurture a sense of being hard-done-by; of missing out.

Well, Jesus quietly tells this man to get up, take his mat, and walk. So, he does! He gets up, takes his mat – and walks off. And Jesus disappears into the crowd while the man later, perhaps dazed and dumbfounded, finds his way to the temple.

And there, in the temple, Jesus finds him. He says, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (verse 14). I wonder whether, in saying this, Jesus had touched a hurt that was gnawing away inside this man. Nobody had helped him. He let that hurt grow into a deep bitterness. He couldn’t forgive. He felt let down. This sort of pain will poison our lives, and it can totally block our relationship with God as well.

We can all slip into this. The important thing is to get it sorted. We have to bring it all to God. It’s corrosive. It destroys us. Forgive. Release those who have failed you. Many of us have been there. My experience is that God can heal and transform bitterness and bring restoration, peace and joy.

Prayer: God, please show me any resentment, any sense I have of being hard-done-by that I have allowed to fester at the core of my life. I choose to forgive those who have failed me or hurt me, and I ask for Your deep cleansing and Your healing in my whole being. I so need Your help to do this. Amen.


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When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
John 5:6, NIV


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Today's Writer

Sue Griffiths Sue found deep inner healing through the teaching and ministry at Ellel ministries and is now part of the associate ministry team at Ellel Grange. Previously, Sue was a specialist in English Literature and a vicar’s wife. Her passion is to see others coming into freedom in Christ in their personal lives. Sue’s an outdoors person, loves gardening, walking, and many creative things. She and Richard, her husband, now live in Northumberland and enjoy a great family of 3 grown up kids and some grandkids.

Sue Griffiths

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