The Healing at the Pool
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?”
7 “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.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
One night while watching Birthday greetings to Dr. Billy Graham, on the event of his 93rd Birthday, I couldn’t help but wonder…How many people have been affected by Dr. Graham’s ministry? Not only the many, many , MANY people who have heard Dr. Graham over the years through his crusades, on television, through other types of audio, video, and printed material-but also through the many others in ministry, public service, politics,and the entertainment world that have been touched, influenced, and changed by Dr. Graham. Because he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he was not only a WILLING vessel, but a vessel that was EXCITED to be used by God! ANXIOUS to please God. And always, always, striving to do the right thing. To be a living example of God’s love.
Now, us as “ordinary people”, will probably never touch the numbers of people, or the type of people, that Billy Graham and his ministry have touched. But we ALL make ripples. Each one we touch, touches many others. For example, as a young man, Dr. Graham had been invited to a revival. After hearing Mordecai Ham preach, young Billy accepted Christ as his Saviour. Now, think about this: What if Billy Graham had not gone to that revival? What if Mordecai Ham had not answered his call to preach? What if Billy Graham had not answered his call to preach? How many lives would be different today? How many souls may have been forever lost?
Never forget, that what we do or say, can affect others, and also, what we DON’T do or say can affect them, as well. We may never know, on this side of Heaven, who, or how many, or in what way, we have an effect on others. But just like dropping a pebble into a body of water-there are ripples. And those ripples touch others, who touch others…and so on, and so on….
Just as in our scripture today; the “stirring of the water”, or the ripples, caused an effect. It caused those around the pool to try to immerse themselves for healing. Christ healing the lame man, also, created ripples; imagine his friends, his family, how they were changed by this miracle. Even the other people at the pool of Bethesda; imagine how those that, day in and day out, had seen the lame man waiting by the pool. Waiting for his miracle. Then one day, it came!! Not in the way he was expecting…but it came, nonetheless!! Imagine the conversation…”Hey, where’s the lame guy?” “Oh, you haven’t heard? He was healed!!” “Oh, he finally got into the water in time?” “No; he was healed by Jesus of Nazareth!”
Dear Lord; always remind us that the things that we say and do touch others. Whether they are for good or for bad, they affect others. Help us to be mindful of always letting your love shine through us. And help us to be not only willing vessels, but ANXIOUS ones, excited to be used by you. Thank you, Lord, for Dr. Graham and his ministry. Continue to bless him and use him for your perfect will. Please use me in your perfect will, also. Help me to be a positive ripple, not a negative one. Thank you, Lord. Amen.