Join us over the next week as we look at encounters Jesus has with people living in their Hot Mess to help clear up yours...
A Hot Mess
Day 3 - A Messy Day At The Pool
John 5:5-9 NLT
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
A hot day at the pool. Well, a hot mess for sure. We know that there was something special about the pool of Bethesda. A watering hole carved in between five covered colonnades near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, this particular area of the city had become a refuge for the blind, lame or paralyzed seeking shade during hot afternoons and a cool bath as well. A modern day area like this might be an area underneath an overpass or a covered area in the downtown of your city where those who are living amidst less fortunate circumstances might congregate. We know that the waters of the pool of Bethesda would be stirred by an angel of the Lord every now and then and whoever got into the pool first would be healed. Can you imagine the scene? The hot mess gets even hotter! The sound of the waters twisting and turning prompting people to move fast, climbing over each other, jumping even leaping into the swishing waters trying to be number one. Lucky for the individual who makes it in, less fortunate for the hundreds that did not. A man laying by the waters feels that pain. 38 years of it. Jesus finds him in the middle of this chaos and takes time to hear his story.
“Do you want to get well?” he asks the invalid.
A prompt “yes” would have done the trick, but he sort of complains about his situation like most of us would. Not one excuse, but two reminding himself he’s got the uglier end of the deal life has dealt. What I love about our Savior is he doesn’t argue with the man’s perspective. He doesn’t even test his faith. He pulls him up out of the hot mess as grace dripped from his heart and a spirit drenched in mercy.
Sometimes we carry our struggles, some of them valid and some of them drama, and park next to the “pool”, too. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe the mess has made a mark. Maybe I'm too discouraged to pray. Maybe I've made a living from the mess and it's just my routine everyday. I’m like that man more than I want to admit. I come up with a lot more than two reasons, maybe hundreds, on why I haven’t surrender my hot mess. I miss giving God a chance. I miss knowing the door is unlocked. The window is open. The key is in my hand. God, help me, help us to keep walking…keep surrendering …one times, two times, one hundred times, whatever it takes. Knowing that however long it takes YOU will come through. Yes, by faith I believe my God will come through. Even if it takes 38 years...
Read the entire account in the book of John chapter 5 and see this amazing story come to life for you as well!