An intriguing encounter: the man did not request to be made well. We are not told that he showed any gratitude.
And the sequel… the man was “caught breaking the Law” by carrying his sleeping mat on the Day of Rest by the religious leaders. Jesus met the man later in the Temple, and warned the man to stop sinning (in terms of his attitude toward God, not carrying a sleeping mat). Jesus warned him that to continue in sin would have worse consequences than being lame, lonely and frustrated for 38 years.
The man’s response? Turn Jesus in to the leaders at the first possible opportunity.
An instructional encounter: John 5:16 – this encounter led to conflict between Jesus and ‘the Jews’ who opposed Him, and His "cavalier" attitude to the Sabbath had become the catalyst.
God uses innocuous encounters to His glory, even when they are incidental, intriguing and instructional. This encounter laid the foundation for an extended discussion of the nature of Jesus and His unique relationship with God the Father.
May we be prepared to hang out with those we normally wouldn’t, even those Jesus has to remind to understand the consequences of sin toward God are far worse than physical infirmity or suffering.