Man by the Pool

esus went up to Jerusalem; there in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, a pool where a great multitude of sick people with all kinds of physical ailments, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever entered the pool first, after the water had been stirred, was made well.

A man who had been lame for thirty eight years was lying there on a mat next to the pool.

Jesus saw him there and asked him: “Do you want to be made well?”

The man replied, “I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred, but while I am coming, another steps in ahead of me.”

Jesus answered, “Pick up your mat and walk.”

And immediately the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked.

This man may have had a physical disability for thirty eight years but it was his attitude which kept him there for so long. His main problem was that he did not take responsibility for his situation, but blamed others saying that no one will put me in the pool.

Using someone else as a scapegoat may make you feel good about yourself and your situation but will do nothing to improve it. In order for your life to improve you have to take responsibility for it. Believers have the advantage over non believers in that they do not have to do it on their own. The man by the pool did not know Jesus, because when the rulers asked him, “Who healed you on the Sabbath?”

He answered, “I do not know who he was but he said to me, take up your bed and walk.”

The Jewish rulers said to the healed man, “It is not lawful for you to carry your bed on the Sabbath.”


(The man who was healed)

1 Prior to his healing he blamed others for his situation; he said to Jesus, When I go to the pool SOMEONE always steps in ahead of me.”

Notice the word someone; it’s a generalisation. If he had said, “Peter, Cameron, Bob, Ross, or Bruce,” there would have been a name for that someone. He blamed others without mentioning names.

2 He was not assertive; this became clear to me.”

He could not have wanted his healing badly enough because if he did then he would have found a way to make sure he got there first.

3 He was a procrastinator

It seems he was waiting for someone to give him permission before he could walk. Procrastinators always have a reason or rather excuse why something cannot be done. It took thirty-eight years before this man could turn his life around as a result.


The man may have been responsible for prolonging his condition but his actions also brought him healing and do you know what was the key to his healing? It was obedience. As with so many miracles in the bible healing takes place after someone does what Jesus said.

It is true that he did not know who Jesus was or at least denied he knew Jesus when the rulers asked the man who healed him. Later on he saw Jesus and Jesus said to him, “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Anyway I have not figured out why he said that; the fact that he did not know Jesus may be a clue that was not yet a believer or was Jesus trying to remind the man, that being thrown into hell for all eternity is worse than being crippled for 38 years.

The man who was lying near the pool was crippled for thirty eight years but it was only after he met Jesus that he was cured. There has to be a lesson there somewhere.

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