Worship Times
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9:25 am
    • Communion, 10:30 am
    • Morning Worship, 11:00 am
  • Wednesday
    • Morning Bible Study, 11:00 am
    • Evening Bible Study, 7:00 pm
Pastoral Position Still Open

We are still in search of the next pastor for Metropolitan Community Tabernacle. For further information, please click here: Pastoral Position


The Impotent Man

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

John 5:1-15 AKJV


This pool called Bethesda, “House of Mercy,” seems to have been the Jerusalem hospital at that time. The water was evidently subject to intermittent bubbling, and perhaps possessed many healing virtues. But it is not with those who went into the pool that we have to do, but with the man who did not get in, and yet was healed.

John 5:5 says, “He had an infirmity thirty and eight years…” This infirmity was probably the result of his sin (v. 14). Like sin itself, it was an old standing disease. As far as his own ability, or any mere human power was concerned, he was past hope. This house of mercy was his last shift. The mercy of God is the sinners’ only hope.

This man was there among the “blind, the halt, withered, waiting.“ He was not ashamed to take his place among the helpless and the needy. If he had refused to take this self-humbling step he never would have been healed. Pride and shame keep many a one away from the saving touch of Christ. To many, God is still saying, “ How long will ye refuse to humble yourselves?” It was the wretched Publican took his place as a sinner that he justified (Luke 18:13).

Verse 7, says, “While I am coming, another steppeth down before me..” He had taken his place among the “impotent folk.” Now he is doing the best he can; but his best only ends in failure and disappointment. There are a great many “others,” seen and unseen with and without that are ready that are ready to step down before a soul seeking salvation. Salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast. His repeated failure makes him more prepared for the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

“When Jesus saw him lie and knew …. He said unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” in verse 6. He knoweth the path of those whose spirits have become overwhelmed. This poor man was waiting for a more convenient season, but that was not what he needed. He needed one to save him where he was, and as he was, and that Christ offered to do. Wilt thou be made whole, where you are, just now?  When he answered, “Sir, I have no man ,” etc., it was clear that he did not know to whom he was speaking, for those who are saved by Christ need no other man. Wilt thou that I should make thee whole?

“Rise, take up thy bed and walk” (verse 8). This call must surely have come to him with startling suddenness. He had not walk for “thirty and eight years.” But there is always that inexplicable something about the Person and Word of the Lord Jesus Christ that awakens the confident expectation of the diseased and the downcast. It was utterly useless for any other man to say, “Rise and walk.” It would only be solemn mockery, coming from His lips the words were “spirit and life.”

“And immediately the man was made whole” (verse 9). He believed the Word of the Lord, acted on the authority of it, and found in his happy experience that he had received the blessing for which he so longed. He got it, not by working, striving, or struggling, but simply believing. The change wrought in him was both sudden and complete, “immediately …. made whole.” The cure itself was a mystery, but the fact of it was a certainty.

Comments are closed.