It’s a valid question. Throughout the Bible, Jesus often asked hard and straight forward questions. His questions would usually stop people in their tracks; Jesus didn’t beat around the bush. As in John 5:1-9, 14 we see this story unfold;
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Do you see that? There was a guy that had been at that healing pool and an invalid for thirty-eight years! That is like many of us. We have been stuck in situations or heart conditions left lame by choices or circumstances in life for years or even decades. Maybe you got divorced, or someone walked out of your life leaving your heart in shambles and perhaps left you a single parent. Maybe you were abused as a child and have continued to carry that with you into adulthood in turn leaving you a wounded child in an adult body and the relationships you’ve had have just been a repeat of your past. Maybe you have an illness that has left you on the sidelines of life. Whatever has left you lame, whatever those things have been or are, you do have a choice. This choice is a starting point to get well and it all starts with the question Jesus asked that man at the pool of Bethesda; do you want to get well? Do you want better? Do you believe Jesus can turn it all around and heal you, all of you? Let me tell you this, if Jesus can heal an invalid man, a bleeding woman and raise a dead man, then he can do ANYTHING! (“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”- Ephesians 3:20 )
This next verse always hits me in the gut because many of us fall into the trap of self-pity and excuses. Even today in 2014 when we have advanced in leaps and bounds we still tend to fall into this trap! “No one will help me.” “No one cares enough.” “But I am alone and no one calls me or checks to see how I’m doing.” Get out of that trap and do something! There may be people running up in front of you to get prayer during church, so what get up and get in line!! You have to try. You have to make the first move no matter how much the self pity wants to consume you. No one is going to do it for you.
7. “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
And then comes the best part! I just love this on so many levels. Jesus doesn’t say “oh poor guy, that’s so sad, people are so cruel.” No! He tells the invalid man to Get up, pick up his mat and walk! It’s a lesson in tough love; there are times when we need to be pierced with the truth (out of love of course). So he is basically saying to get up and out of your mess, clean up your mess and start walking. The act of walking is a huge act of faith. We often can become consumed and afraid by the hard work that will be inevitable in getting well and getting out of our lameness. Don’t be afraid of the hard work!
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Verse 14 is crucial to being and staying well. You must get out of whatever is making you lame no matter how hard it may be. Then you must continue down the road of healing, not allowing those things or sins to pull you back into that lameness Jesus led you out of. You have to be determined in your mind, body, soul and spirit to walk. For if you don’t do that you will fall back into whatever has made you lame in the past.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”
Here are a few questions to meditate and pray about:
1. 1. Do you want to get well?
2. 2. What has left you lame? Recognize it and acknowledge that it has left you lame. Get out of denial, denial only leaves you in bondage.
3. 3. Are you willing to do the work?
Dear Father, I pray for all of my sisters and brothers reading this. I pray that no matter what has made them lame and no matter how much pain they may feel paralyzed by that you will meet them where they are. Daddy, I pray that you will fill them with an overwhelming peace and a knowing that no matter what you are with them. Their circumstances are no match for you daddy!!! You did not give us the spirit of fear! We will walk in your authority! I pray healing and that the chains will fall off and stay off! I hear those chains falling to the floor!! Father, Abba, Daddy, Yeshua we love and need you not just some of the time but all of the time!! I pray all of this in Jesus most Holy and precious name, AMEN!
Every one of you is important to the kingdom, so put your crowns back on, throw your shoulders back and act accordingly to what God says about you!