Miracles at Bethesda

“After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk” (John 5:1–9).

This miracle perfectly illustrates God’s sovereign grace in action. Out of all the sick people at the pool, Jesus chose to heal this one man. There was nothing about him that made him more deserving than the others, nor did he seek out Jesus; Jesus approached him. The Lord did not choose him because He foresaw that he had the faith to believe; he never did express belief that Jesus could heal him.

It is the same way in salvation. Out of the spiritually dead multitude of Adam’s fallen race, God chose and redeemed His elect—not because of anything they did to deserve it, or because of their foreseen faith, but because of His sovereign choice.

Ask Yourself
Be on the lookout for people in need—those you meet in very random encounters, as well as those you know well, people you see on a fairly routine basis. Wherever possible, be part of bringing hope and compassion to those who think no one really cares about them. Understand that you represent Jesus’ love and mercy everywhere you go.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610