He was a handsome young man, strong and active. But he had some bad habits that left him very sick. Friends took him to doctors and finally to the only place that might help—a pool in Jerusalem at which people said angels stirred the waters. The popular belief was that if you were the first person into the pool when the waters rippled, you’d get better.
So they left the young man by the pool and then forgot him. No one came to see him. Nor did anyone offer to help him get into the water when the ripples appeared. He sat there month after month, year after year, begging for handouts, never able to reach the pool in time.
Thirty-eight years passed. Countless times the waters rip-pled, countless times the man watched someone else get to the pool before him. And for all those years he longed to be forgiven for the evil ways of his youth.
One Sabbath afternoon a stranger paused at his side. «What do you want most?» the visitor asked.
«Sir,» the sick man answered, «I have no one to put me in the pool when the waters move.»
Then the stranger spoke words that changed his life for-ever. «Get up,» He told him. «Take your sleeping mat and walk.» Something in that voice sounded like forgiveness and hope. Without hesitation, the sick man stumbled to his feet and turned to face the stranger, but He was gone.
He had finally reached the waters. No, not those in the pool. He’d found the water of life in the presence of Jesus Christ and was healed.