JOHN 5:5-6: “Now a certain man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. Seeing him lying there and knowing he had been that way a long time, Yeshua said to him, “Do you want to get well?” TLV
OBSERVATION: “Do you want to get well?” This is a profound question that comes to every man and woman in their lifetime. There are so many times when we face prolonged trials, illnesses, and difficulties. They can become so common place that we accept them as the norm and simply embrace our situation as one that will never change.
Such was the case of the invalid laying by the Pool of Bethesda. He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Daily he was laid by the Pool which was thought to have healing powers. However, the healing power was only granted to the first one who was placed in the pool when the waters were stirred. Herein lied the dilemma. This man was an invalid. He did not have anyone to help him into the pool. So every opportunity that he had was never realized. How could an invalid beat anyone into the pool?
When Jesus encountered this invalid he asked him the crucial question, “Do you want to get well?” Naturally the man must have felt taken back by this question. If he didn’t want to get well why would he be there in the first place? So he answered Jesus without answering Jesus, he simply made an excuse why he was not made whole.
The invalid answered Him,
- “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m trying to get in, somebody else steps down before me!” John 5:5, 7 TLV
Jesus did not entertain his excuse, Jesus commanded his healing.
- “Yeshua tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”” John 5:5, 8 TLV
Why was the man able to pick up his mat and walk, when he was not able for years to make his way into the Pool of Bethesda? No doubt there was an impartation of a gift of faith from the Lord to this man. Yet, there was something more. There was a realigning of his focus from what was limiting him, to Who was commanding him. When we focus on our limitations we will always be caught in an endless spiral of doubt, fear, and disappointment. However, when we turn our focus to the Lord we will be filled with faith, comfort, and hope.
Unlike the invalid, many times our healing does not come miraculously or immediately. Yet, this story reminds us that if we have the wrong focus, if we are placing our faith in the wrong thing, we may continue to be stuck in our current situation and never hear the word from the Lord, “Do you want to get well?” This is especially true when it comes to deep seated emotional hurts in our lives. Disappointment, anger, and un-forgiveness can keep us trapped on the edge of recovery. It is only when we lay these things down and turn them over to the Lord that we hear His words.
When Jesus had healed this man he caught up with him in the Temple. Jesus’ next instruction to this man is even more powerful than His word to pick up his mat and walk. Jesus said,
- “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”” John 5:14 NKJV
Someone may read this and say, “Ahah! I knew that this man was sick because of his sin!” May I say that sin can cause sickness, yet it is clear from the Scriptures and from life that all sickness is not the result of an overt act of sin. Yet, if we understand how God views sin, we can understand the words of Jesus. The greatest sin is to place anything in our lives above God. This is idolatry. For the man who was healed, his idolatry was the Pool of Bethesda itself. For it was what he had put his faith and trust in.
If we put our faith and trust in anything or anyone else, we remove our position from the very One who can heal us! Faith is not a work, it is an act of trust. Imagine what would have happened if the man did not begin to walk in his new found healing, but simply returned back to the Pool of Bethesda and stared at it all day long. The latter condition would have been worse than the former. Why? Because he would have failed to enter into God’s destiny and will for his life!
God loves us enough to reveal in our lives what needs to change. Just like this man, if we turn our eyes toward Jesus, if we tune our ear to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, we will hear His call.
There was a time in my life when I held extreme anger toward an individual who had deeply wounded me. I rehearsed this anger over and over again in my mind. It consumed me, controlled me, and colored everything I did in my life.Then I heard the voice of the Lord – “Pray for and bless the one who has hurt you.” What? Like the man at the pool I resisted because it was impossible for me to do this!
Then I discovered a wonderful truth. What is impossible with man is possible with God! I knew I had to obey. I began to pray for this individual. I prayed that he would come to a saving knowledge of the Lord. I prayed that God would bless him in his life, in his business, and in his family. When I started to do this I had no feeling. In fact I felt like a hypocrite. Yet, it is never hypocrisy to obey God, even when our feelings our lagging behind. It did not happen overnight, but as I kept praying and blessing this man, my anger started to subside and its hold on me grew weaker and weaker. Then one day it happened – I was healed!
This was not the last time in my life I have been deeply hurt or disappointed. However, it taught me to quickly turn this over to the Lord and begin to bless rather than rehearse the pain. When I choose to place my trust in Jesus Christ, and when I refuse to rehearse the offense or pain, I find myself in the place where healing can flow to my life. I have seen this both emotionally, spiritually, and physically. There are still areas in my life that need healing, but I know He is ever present, and He will guide me with grace, strength, patience, and His healing hand!
Lord, this morning, forgive me for the times I have turned my eyes away from You and placed them on something that can never bring the healing in my life that I so desperately need. Today I turn my eyes to You. Heal me, forgive me, cleanse me, and help me walk in the abundance of Your mercy and grace!
In Jesus Name!