The weakening one answered him, “Lord, I do not have a man in order that, when the water may be disturbed, he may put me into the bathing-pool. In fact in that I myself am coming, another descends before me.”
Apparently, there were cures at this Bethesda Pool from time to time. But this “someone” was too weak to lift himself into the water and all the others there looked after themselves rather than him.
This “someone” had nobody who could help him with this. No hope. Things are not that much different today – when push turns to shove and we’re all protecting ourselves from Covid – not too bothered about curing others.
Jesus stated to him, “Rise up! Take your mat and walk around!” And immediately the man came to be well and took his mat and was walking about. (In fact it was the Sabbath in that day.)
Someone does care. As soon as Jesus, having asked, is told that this “someone” does want “to be well”, he sees to it. Direct. No water. No magic.
So the Jews were stating to the one who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permitted for you to take the mat!” In fact he answered them, “The one who made me well—that one said to me, ‘Take your mat and walk around.’”
The devout, religious folk in Jerusalem had not earlier bothered about this “someone”. But they suddenly spring into action. Although “made well”, he mustn’t carry his mat around. Not on the Sabbath.
The trouble was that it was the man who had made him well who had told him to walk around carrying his mat. He had also made him well on the Sabbath. A new “Sabbath” had arrived on earth - in Jerusalem. The religious were unaware. This universal “weakening” – no matter how long or how advanced or how bad – was now reversible. At last.
So they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take and walk around?’” In fact the one who was healed had not discerned who it was, because Jesus had edged away, a crowd being in the place.