by Pam Clark

You know the story of the man by the pool of Bethesda...

John 5:2-13 (NKJ)

    Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

    Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."

    Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

    The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

There is a lot in this story! Interestingly, Strong's Concordance says that Bethesda means "house of kindness." In the home country even in Jerusalem, there is pool of water (which is often meant to be symbolized often as "the washing of the water of the Word") at a place which has five porches, which are five entry points into the Body (the five-fold ministry), which is the gate for the sheep!

Even in God's house today there are many seriously needy people, waiting for the moving of the Word or the stirring of the waters. The story here was that an angel came by every now and then and stirred things up to keep some alive. It was noteable to the people because the miracle was for whatever the problem was, not just one certain kind of healing. People still congregate today, but only "every now and then" does something seem to happen.

Now there was a man who had been "waiting on the Lord" for a long time, thirty eight years to be exact. The number 38, according to those who study Bible numbers means slavery, but it is also the combination of 3 and 8 which is "divine order" and "new beginnings." God will keep no one enslaved! He cares for His own.

It is amazing the many ways tradition can set in. When a story is repeated by word of mouth, it often takes on a new meaning. The spirit of competition had entered this situation. People "had to be first" to get a blessing. Not so with God!

Tradition will also bind you to reject blessings by the legalistic honoring of only certain days. Colossians 2:16-23 plainly says that we are free from that, and Jesus confronted it, too, by approaching this man with the Spirit of God on the Sabbath. God contends for every day! People who force rules on people just want to control them. Jesus says you are FREE!

The religious leaders told him that he "should be resting" and not live his deliverance. Every party needs a pooper, it seems! The Lord has a way of demonstrating His will in front of those who legalize Him. But often, they don't get it. But to the one who has found their freedom, it makes perfect sense! Even if they don't have every jot and tittle in place - they witness that the Spirit is Truth!

Of course we know that this confrontation made the religious leaders angry. They sought to kill Jesus - real Godly of them, right? Not!

To stir the others up, these leaders and wannabes, used the spirit of intrigue. This is an end time spirit which needs to be prayed down. Daniel talks about it in chapter 11 a couple of times:

Daniel 11:20-21 (NKJ)

    There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle. And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.

Daniel 11:32-35 (NKJ)

    Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

Flattery and Intrigue are two of the enemy's best end time weapons we are told. It takes discerning to discern those spirits! In some translations the words are interchangable. From


    1. the act of flattering.
    2. a flattering compliment or speech; excessive, insincere praise.


    1. to arouse the curiosity or interest of by unusual, new, or otherwise fascinating or compelling qualities; appeal strongly to; captivate
    2. to achieve or earn by appealing to another's curiosity, fancy, or interest
    3. to draw or capture
    4. to accomplish or force by crafty plotting or underhand machinations
    5. to entangle
    6. to trick or cheat
    7. to plot craftily or underhandedly
    8. to carry on a secret or illicit love affair
    9. the use of underhand machinations or deceitful stratagems
    10. such a machination or stratagem or a series of them; a plot or crafty dealing: political intrigues
    11. a secret or illicit love affair
    12. the series of complications forming the plot of a play

It can be tricky to navigate in these end times! We all like a puzzle, but where does the puzzle take you? Can you keep your soul pure and in place? If so, you believe, and God will defend you!

Believing in the spirit of competition, that someone is better than another, is based on unbelief. If you can believe in your heart that God forgives you of your sins, you are free. But if you don't, you are always working things, shuffling things, arranging things, being crafty with deceit to make others think what you want them to think. You are not really free, you are bound! You need intrigue to keep people from seeing the truth! But when you really see the truth, you rejoice in giving God the glory for setting you free and showing you the better way. If you go back to the old ways, your condition will be worse, Jesus said. He did not shame the man, but told him the truth.

John 5:12-16(NKJ)

    Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

Jesus may hide for a bit to draw interest, but He never stays hidden. He owns up for what He does. The man who received his healing had no trouble telling the world that Jesus is the One who healed him.

For thirty eight years this man had been gripped by a lie. For thirty eight years he held the grudge that someone was better than he was and more deserving of healing. It seemed to him for thirty eight years that others just had the advantage. Apparently, many believed that! But God has always been willing to heal His people. In fact, as a Jew, this man had a life long covenant for healing as a son of Abraham! Christians are grafted in by their faith!

But even he qualified for a personal encounter with Jesus. Even he could have a personal relationship with Him and supernatural activity. If the enemy can deny you, he will. But Jesus came to set the captives free. Can you believe?

The work of God is to believe the One He has sent. His will is for your healing and blessing! And others. You are blessed to be a blessing.