John 5:7 Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
In the days when in store shopping was the go to approach, many looked forward to sales events like Black Friday, cyber Monday, summer and winter sales- just to name a few. At such events, the best plan is to be the first to arrive because then you have first dibs on any of the items on sale, if it meets one’s taste and budget.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to see long queues of people, near stampedes and significant pushing when the doors of shops open. A key highlight of these shopping sprees is the element of ‘first come, first served’. The earliest to the party often get the best deals and products which are in high demand. That was the issue we read about today at the pool of Bethesda.
The crowd who lay on the colonnades of this pool were described as ‘blind, lame or paralysed’. This presented a group who on all fronts will clearly struggle to make it into the pool first at its stirring up. In effect, their chances of getting in first were so negligible that it didn’t sound implausible that the man who encountered Jesus had lay waiting for 38 years. Within that time, had had never been first.
Yet, Jesus’ appearance changed the ‘normal outcome’. The situation no longer became a first come, first served, it turned into ‘there is something for everyone’. Beloved, that is who God is. In Him, there is more than enough, but abundance for everyone. There are resources set aside to meet each need of everyone irrespective of circumstances. So just as there is an abundance of water in the oceans, whenever we encounter God, we ought to see Him as ‘El-Shaddai – the All sustaining and All sufficient one’.