The Fifth Sunday of the Lent

We have reached the fifth Sunday of the Great Lent. The story of today is a known story in the Gospel of St John; it is the healing of the crippled paralyzed man who was there by the lake of Bethesda for 38 years.  The story tells us that there was a Lake called Bethesda which in Hebrew means the house of mercy. There were a lot of sick people, they were all waiting for the Angel who comes down and stirs the water, the first of them who gets into the water was healed, but only the first one but not the second.
Among the sick people was a paralyzed man for 38 years by the lake of Bethesda, the LORD JESUS came and said to him “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And so the man took his bed and walked away.
If we go back to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 2, it tells us that the LORD GOD said to the Israelites “You have gone around this mountain long enough. Turn northward.” (Duet 2:3). This happened after they have spent 38 years lost in the wilderness, and after 38 years the LORD GOD said to them move in this direction, they started walking in the directions given towards the Promised Land for 2 years thus making the time being lost in the wilderness 40 years.
The place where the LORD JESUS healed the man was the Lake of Bethesda which had 5 branches.  What do the lake, water and the branches symbolises?
The Lake of Bethesda symbolises the Israelites and their situation before the LORD JESUS came to them (sick, crippled…….).  This lake had 5 branches.  This Lake had 5 branches which symbolises the 5 books of St Moses which is the Law the Jews had.  The crippled paralyzed man was there for 38 years symbolising the Jews being lost in the wilderness.
The chapter starts with a very beautiful phrase: (John 5: 1-2) “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is a pool at the Sheep Gate at Jerusalem, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches.”  
Jerusalem was a great city and had 4 gates:
When the LORD JESUS came into Jerusalem HE entered from Eastern Gate, the sheep gate, through which they entered the sheep for the sacrifices on the Altar. There near the Sheep Gate, there was a lake named the Lake of Bethesda, the Lake of Mercy, there in this lake they were used to clean the sheep before taking them to the Temple, so the sheep are lead through the Sheep gate then cleaned in the Lake of Mercy and then sacrificed. Saint John the Baptist said about the LORD JESUS” Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 )
The LORD JESUS came in through the Sheep gate and to the Lake where HE stood by a paralyzed man for 38 years, as if HE was pointing to the lost mankind, and asked him a question:” Do you desire to be made whole?”   a wearied question, do you desire to be made whole, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed by the lake for 38 years, as if HE is talking to the human spirit who had the will to be made whole, but the will here was towards the water and the lake, thus this spirit willed to be whole again through the Laws.  An Angel used to come down and stir the water and the first one who gets into the water was healed from all his sicknesses, the bodily sicknesses, but the LORD JESUS wanted this will to be directed towards the Grace.
The paralyzed man answered, “Sir, when the water is troubled, I have no one to put me into the pool.”  ( John 5:7) . The ONE the whole of humanity has been waiting for.  This HUMAN, the SON OF MAN, came and said to the paralyzed man “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” HE came to rise him from the death of sin, just as what St Paul has said: “and has raised us up together”. ( Eph 2:6) . The man got up and carried his bed, at first the bed was carrying him but now he is carrying the bed therefore now he is bearing the responsibility. He bared the responsibility and went round telling others how much God has done with him.
I was expecting that after the LORD JESUS has healed the paralyzed man that all the other sick people around would have asked HIM to cure them also, but the Holy Bible does not say that, but they did not even notice the LORD JESUS and stayed there watching the lake and the water. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water, but One stands among you whom you do not know.”  (John 1:26)    
We are seeking too many things and forgetting about the LORD JESUS, we are seeking a man and forgetting about the SON OF MAN, we are seeking an Angel that will stir the water and forget about the one who came to say to us get up and walk. Good News.