Included in this week's Bible lesson is the story of Jesus' healing of the man by the Pool of Bethesda. I was thinking about that this morning and asking myself, "am I sitting beside my own Pool of Bethesda"? That man had carried around a heavy burden for many years. It seems to me that what he was now doing was hoping to some miracle that would restore him to health. Restore his dignity and self esteem. Allow him to stand unaided. Give him freedom to move around on his own. He believed, as did the many others who came to this Pool, that what caused the healings was the intervention of an angel. Mrs. Eddy defines angels in Science and Health as God's messages and messengers. So this man was waiting for evidence that an angel had appeared and then hoping against hope that he would recieve the blessing.
Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed. An odd question but the answer establishes where the man's thought was at that point. He believes in the power of the angel, he believes healing is possible, but he feels that he is unable to be healed because to do so he must rely upon the help of others to get him to the pool. Do you feel that way? Do you think that you need the intervention of someone to move you ahead of others in the employment process? Does it seem like someone else always gets their blessing, perhaps what should have come to you?
Jesus had asked him if he wanted to be made whole. That man must have been feeling, then, that he was not whole. He was physically handicapped, he was alone, he was a victim of circumstance. Many feel that way with all the challenges around us. Do you feel that there is a hole in your life, in your body, in your relationships, in your career? Does there seem to be something missing? Jesus might well ask you the same question. Do you want to be made whole? Of course we do. But how? What was the Christ offering to do?
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health that Jesus beheld the perfect man, the perfect idea of divine Mind, right where the rest of the world saw something lacking. Jesus saw everyone as whole, never having lost anything. Always as the perfect reflection of a perfect Original. Complete. Undisturbed. Whole. Healthy. Complete. Able to do all things through God who is our constant support. And he saw it so clearly that, like a light being turned on in a dark room, the man's thought of himself was lifted as well. That light of Truth shined for both of them. And it brought healing and restoration because immediately that man was whole. This was a revelation, not so much a restoration. What had always been true had been revealed. So no physical therapy was needed to strengthen weak muscles, no time was needed to recouperate. No help was needed to balance that man so he could walk on his own. No help was even needed to carry that cot. He could walk right then and there. And he did.
If there seems to be a 'Pool of Bethesda", a person or place or thing that you are looking to for help or healing, why not look instead to see that angel message coming directly to you from your Father in heaven. No pool necessary to prove its presence. Do not accept any limitation that says you can only succeed if others help you. Do not accept the suggestion that you are the victim of circumstance and that someone else gets to good before you do. Good is infinite and cannot ever be used up. There is more than enough to go around. It is God's will that you understand your relationship to Him as His very own beloved child. That comes with divine rights and privleges.
Turn away from the 'Pool' and look for your angel. It is your very own angel and its message cannot be diverted, delayed or erased. When you feel that you are in the presence of the Christ...rise...take up your bed...and walk. Lift thought to cling to perfect God and perfect child. Be made whole.