Today, this story struck me.. I was reading this week with my church doing the New Testament in 60 days and we were in the book of John I ran across a story that jumped out at me.. It was the story of a man (A man who had been an invalid, he had had a deep seated lingering disorder) sitting by a pool… called Bethesda! “The healing pool”
The story goes on to talk about an angel of the Lord who would come at certain times and stir up the water..
Let’s stop here a moment!
Who was this angel? How did the people know it was an angel? How did they know when he was there?
This story baffles me because the man is positioned in the right place, but he still has an issue. It’s almost like being in church every week, serving and doing many great things for the Lord and well… You still have your issue when you walk away every week..
38 years, the bible says this man had been in this condition. Now imagine with me.. 38 years is a long time right! Ok, keep reading!
Jesus comes by on a particular day. It’s a regular day to him, he’s going about business as usual as an invalid, this is the state he has been accustomed to and he is not asking Jesus to heal him by the way.. Like most of the stories when you see people calling out to Jesus to have mercy. This man is noticed by Jesus..
Ever had Jesus notice you.. I mean you didn’t even know He was passing by, but He takes note of you and stops and sees you in your situation and you feel like an invalid, you feel like you have had this thing lingering for years and it is very much so deep seated.. and He looks at you and says to you…”Do you want to be well?” See that’s the issue, I don’t think Jesus was asking the man if he wanted to be made well because He wanted to know.. that was an oxymoron I think Jesus wanted him to think to himself.. After all these years being like this.. depending on others to take care of me, doing things this way.. Do I want to be in a position where I can do for myself what others have been doing for me?
This to me was thought provoking because sometimes believe it or not there are people who would rather be in their disabled state, they would rather sell their body for money, they would rather turn to drugs, alcohol, food, and spending excessively instead of Jesus.. but He comes and ask a question.. “Do you Want To be made well?”
Now the thing I loved about the story was even after the man gave Jesus excuses as to why he could not get into the water all those years, every single time the angel came by, Jesus excused his excuses and Jesus said to him… “Take up your mat and walk!” You see Jesus says to him.. Get up out of that position you are in.. You are in a sleeping position, I don’t want you lying down.. stand up, come on.. I’ve healed you, so now you can walk!
Take up that thing that’s been carrying you and you carry it!
How many of us would be willing to do it by faith.. Normally, medically this was impossible, you see if a person had been sick for so many years or in a certain condition from birth they would have to go through therapy.. You see it’s like a baby learning to walk.. Like a person who had been blind all their lives just trying to see for the first time.. It would take a while for their eyes to adjust to the light, you see it would be a shock associated with the brain trying to process a new thing.. Seeing.. Now so it would be for an invalid..
My aunt once got very sick and we don’t know what happened to her, she stopped walking for several months, until this day I still don’t know why. Before she started to walk again she had to go through extensive therapy so they could teach her how to mentally do it again.. even though she had walked all her life.. Amazingly she had to retrain her brain to do it, and until this day she walks perfectly.
But what of this man, without therapy, Jesus healed him and he immediately used those limbs that up until now had been limp.. this was without a doubt a miracle. Jesus had healed him and there was no question, without the therapy, Jesus steps into our situations and He speaks a word alone and while we walk away free.. how do we process life..
Well, he was obviously walking around and was stopped and questioned by some people who didn’t like the fact that he was carrying a mat on a sabbath.. While Jesus slipped away into the crowd, and at first he did not know who healed him, Jesus had a message for him..
Don’t ever forget, Jesus sees us in this fallen state and we can not in any way lift ourselves, He speaks to us and heals us, but then He comes back and catches us and says.. “See! your well!! (I’m glad for you) but see to it that you go forward from now on and don’t sin anymore” In other words now when it’s Saturday night your going to have to make the decision I don’t sell my body any more, I don’t go to eat when I’m stressed or happy until I am stuffed, I don’t take drugs anymore, or alcohol, at that point you must re-identify yourself to line up with a new you.. You will definitely not be the same for the simple fact is clear, you are healed completely..
Jesus is always working, He is doing the work that He sees the Father doing, so that we may enter into His rest when we do what we’ve seen Him do!