John Sharpe ~ Kitchener, Ontario

A poor, crippled man lay by a pool in Bethesda. Every so often, the pool was mysteriously stirred and the first person in was healed. The next time it happened, he wanted to be the first one in to receive “his miracle.”

Suddenly, from what seemed like nowhere, the Savior of sinners came and stood before the crippled man. When Jesus saw him He said unto him, “Wilt thou be made whole?"

“Sir, I have no man…” responded the man. All that mattered was finding some way of getting into the pool of Bethesda first so he would be healed. This poor man lived, thinking only of “me first," even though the only one who could meet his great need was standing before him.

The poor man had never actively looked for the Savior of sinners before. He never cried for help until the Lord Jesus asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?” In a similar way I was like the man who lay by the Pool of Bethesda, the House of Mercy. God was rarely in my thoughts and the only one I really cared about was myself. I did not know what it was like to be raised in a Christian home and consequently I knew very little about God. I knew absolutely nothing about the Gospel. I had very little interest in the Lord Jesus and I did not know He was able to meet my greatest need.

In 1981, for the first time in my life, when I was 18 years of age, I heard the Gospel preached by two men in a "furniture warehouse" in Sarnia, Ontario. I was startled to learn that I was a sinner, I was on my way to hell and that if I died without the Savior I would be eternally punished for my sins. I could not believe my ears. Like the man who lay by the pool of Bethesda all around me there were “a great multitude of people, which were blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” As I looked around at others in my life I believed I was no different from anyone else, no better and no worse.

Prior to hearing the Gospel message I was not actively looking for the only One who could satisfy the emptiness and longing of my soul. However, the Lord was gracious to me. After reading the Word of God over a period of two months and hearing the Gospel a few times, I understood that I needed to be saved (Act.16:4). The words of Romans 5:6 struck my heart and I understood what God said about me was true, I was without ability to save myself and I was “ungodly.” But, like the man by the pool of Bethesda, “The House of Mercy," I heard those lovely words, “Wilt thou be made whole?” At that moment, on December 22, 1981, for the first time, I understood that when Christ died upon the Cross and shed His precious blood, He died for me “the ungodly.” At that moment I was “made whole,” my sins were forgiven and I was ready for God’s Heaven.