John 5:2

Robert Hawker

"A pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue, Bethesda."–John v. 2.

Go down, my soul this evening, to the pool and cloisters of Bethesda, as the prophet was commanded to go down to the potter's house. Peradventure thy Lord may do by thee as he graciously did by him; cause thee to bear his words. The pool of Bethesda was the place or house of mercy. It was so to the bodies of those whom the Lord healed there. It becomes so now to the souls of those who behold Jesus in the representation. In the cloisters around the pool, lay a great multitude of sick, waiting for a cure. Ponder over the miseries of our fallen nature. It is always profitable to note distinguishing blessings. Are hospitals numerous, frequently filled, numbers sick, numbers dying, numbers dead? Am I in health? And will not the voice of praise go forth to the bountiful Author in a consciousness of the distinguishing mercy? The waters of this pool were blessed with a miraculous quality. One poor creature, and but one, at that season when the waters were moved by the descent of an angel into the pool, (most probably discovered by the agitation of the water) was cured of whatsoever disease he had. Sweet testimony, before the coming of Christ, that the Lord had not left his people, notwithstanding the very languishing state in which the church then was. But, my soul, attend to the spiritual beauty of this interesting record. The pool of Bethesda, no doubt, was intended as a typical representation of the fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. And the Son of God, by visiting the pool, and healing a poor paralytic by the sovereign word of his own power, without the means, seemed very plainly to intimate the inexpediency of the type, when the person signified was present. Behold in this pool then, the house of mercy always open. In a world like the present, full of misery because full of sin, multitudes of folk, impotent in soul, should be found in the cloisters of ordinances, and under the means of grace. Jesus loves those places. These are his favourite haunts. Here he comes to heal and to impart blessings; and that not to one only at a season. In his blood a sovereign efficacy is found for all who are washed in it. He cures the guilt of sin, destroys its dominion, roots out its sting, and raises from the death of sin. And he doth all in so gracious, so condescending, so sovereign a manner, as cannot but endear him to every heart. Blessed be the Lord that hath led me to his pool at Bethesda, and hath heated my soul in his blood. "The Lord is my strength and my song, and he is become my salvation."

Robert Hawker

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