Welcome back, today we continue on still at the pools at the sheep gate. We have looked at the location and what the people are doing around these pools and now we come to what Christ is here to do. Let’s dig in.
John 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
The number 38 appears only 4 times in the bible, but each time the number is significant. So what does the number mean? Ed F. Vallowe in his wonderful work called Biblical Mathematics (A work I recommend every student of the bible to have) says the number means slavery, but I don’t think that word really describes or explains what it means. Really it seems to mark the beginning of a time when Israel turned from God. Let’s look closer:
Deuteronomy 2:14 And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.
What happened at Kadeshbarnea? Kadeshbarnea was when Moses sent out twelve spies into Canaan. When they returned they reported that it was a land of milk and honey, but ten of them said the inhabitants were too strong for them and they would surely be defeated. The two spies that reported they should go was Joshua and Caleb. The children of Israel believed the evil report of the ten and as a result were forced to wander the next thirty eight years in the wilderness.
Clearly Christ is pointing us to this time as an ensample.
John 5:6 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? (7) 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.
This man is hopeless and he isn’t even asking Christ to be healed and we will see he doesn’t even know who Christ is, which calls this to mind:
Romans 11:25-27 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
John 5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. (9) And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
In the next segment we are going to see how the loving clergy takes to this healing.