John 5:1-10 (NIV)
Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “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.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
This is a very familiar story; the healing at the pool of Bethesda. Today, I will like us to examine this story in light of examining our instrumentality. Most often, when we hear this story read and explained, it almost suggests that the invalid man at the pool of Bethesda was not enthusiastic enough about his change. And that 38years is quite a long time to not successfully scoot to the edge of the pool and be ready in time to dive in when the angel stirs the water. That can be very true, however, today, I will like for us to look at this story from a different perspective.
Could it be that his physical state of being was the reason why no one came to his rescue? I say so because when Jesus asked him if he wants to get well, his immediate response was that “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.” By implication, getting help from someone was not forbidden, however, no one was available to offer the help.
How busy was the society then that this invalid man could not get any attention or minimal help?
When Jesus asked him “Do you want to get well?” The expected response is “yes” or “no”, however, the invalid man explained his response which was eventually interpreted to Jesus as “yes”. Has anyone ever thought about why the man could not give Jesus a direct answer? When I think about this story, I see a man who is deprived attention from people. A man who wants to be heard. A man who not only wants to be healed but also wants to be heard in the process.
Jesus eventually became the instrument of change in his life and his story changed forever. My question to you is this – how many people do you ignore often who may need very little help from you which will transform their lives? How many people are you avoiding because according to societal standards, they do not fit in? How many people do you take the time to listen to and attend to their needs?
There are many questions I can ask you in line with this story. However, my goal is to encourage you to examine your instrumentality. Sometimes it does not take much to become an instrument of change in a person’s life. Jesus was instrumental in the healing of this man. It all began when Jesus showed interest in him and provided a listening ear. Provide a listening ear to people as the Spirit leads you.