King's Business - 1968-10

A t the pool op B ethesda , with its five porches, lay a multitude o f sick folk “waiting for the moving o f the water.” Scholars tell us that the de­ tails about the angel troubling the water are not found in the oldest manuscripts. But there was some strange commotion, some bubbling of the pool, that brought the crowd to Bethesda in hope o f healing. Sometime ago I spent a week in a city where a faith healer was holding forth in the city auditorium. The hotel lobby was filled with a sad throng of crippled and sick people waiting for their turn in the healing lina It made me think of the pool of Bethesda. We live in a sick world. In spite of the strides in medicine and our institutions of healing, the world has never been so sick in body, mind and spirit as today. The trouble is, we do not recog­ nize the underlying disease from which all our other illnesses come. We use sickness as an alibi for not admitting our basic ailment. The drunkard is sick, the criminal is sick, the immoral are sick. We call sickness what God calls sinfulness and weakness what God calls wickedness. Yet it is sickness: “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole o f the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in i t ; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” On the front page of every paper, the news reporters tell every day o f a raging fever, a delirium tremens, festering strife and hatred and lust. Humanity is sick unto death. We read that the multitude at Bethesda was “WAITING FOR THE MOVING OF THE WA­ TER.” Whatever that moving was, they put their hopes in it and believed in its healing power. Today sick humanity waits for a MOVING of the waters. We have never had so many movements as today. Political, social, religious waters are boiling the world around. The earth is in commotion with strange stirrings, some Satanic, devilish, demonic. All sorts of reforms and programs by which unre­ generate men try to superimpose a false kingdom of heaven on a sinful society keep the sea of OCTOBER, 1968

humanity in an uproar. Every time a new panacea agitates the waters we say, “Maybe this is it!” Communism chums the waters the world around and millions think this is the cure for all our social distempers. All kinds of political and religious fads come and go but humanity waits in vain for each new moving o f the waters in revolution, legisla­ tion, reformation. What a heart-breaking thing, these movements that promise deliverance and leave men sicker than before! Amidst it all stands the Saviour asking as at Bethesda, “Wilt thou be made whole?” The impotent man replied: “ 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.” He was not only waiting for a MOVING; he was waiting for A MAN. Today sick humanity waits for some Messiah, turns to quack politicians and reformers, little Caesars and Na­ poleons. We are looking for a MAN and it will cul­ minate in the final man of all these men, the MAN OF SIN, the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2 :3 ). Recently a very old and stylish Academy staged a performance o f Samuel Beckett’s play, “Waiting for Godot.” It is the story of two characters, Vladi­ mir and Estragon, waiting by the side o f the road for a Mr. Godot who will never come. When he comes, everything will be fine and pleasant but they wait in vain. It is a pathetic portrayal of a bored humanity trying to amuse itself while waiting for what will never come. Men are waiting for a thou­ sand different Godots today. The impotent man waits for a MAN to help him into the healing waters. It is futile and frustrating business. This poor man by Bethesda’s pool must have known a day when he could hardly wait to get to the pool for “ this might be the great day” but the years had come and gone and life had settled to the boredom of lying day by day, waiting for the MAN who never came. Could anything better describe our plight today? Waiting for a MOVING, waiting for a MAN. Humanity is waiting for an angel to trouble the waters, waiting for something to happen. Here is

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs