After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
What Kind of Question is That?
Jesus asks people if they want to be healed? This is not the only time. Isn’t that obvious? The invalid had been there for a long time. Jesus, though does not act in a person’s life regardless of their will. He treats the invalid as a person and forces them to participate in their healing by choosing it. The invalid exercises faith when he chooses to get up and walk in response to Jesus.
Some of us have been invalids for years. We are used to making excuses why we are not healed. We say that it is not up to us. Someone else has not rescued us; they have not helped us. We may not have a physical ailment that everyone can see. We may have a chronic sense of feeling unloved. We may be anxious about the future. We may have a pattern of failed relationships which we put down to bad luck or bad matches. There are ways that we protect ourselves from change, but secretly we wish for a different life. Then Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?” We think we do, but when he tells us to get up and start following his directions we respond with fighting, fleeing, or freezing. Are you frozen by the side of the pool? Are you running from Jesus’ healing? Are you angry at God because you are unwilling to accept the changes he wants to bring in your life?
It’s time to ‘get up, take up your bed, and walk.’
I can be arrogant and think that I have arrived. I can be blind and ignorant of my next step of growth. I can be too busy and forget that life is about relationship. I can be stuck by the side of the pool, unable to see my need to be healed. Work your healing in us. Help us to get up and walk wherever you are going to lead.
- Where did Jesus go?
- Why did Jesus ask a question that would have seemed so obvious?
- How long did it take the man to respond?
- What is the next step Jesus is calling you to take in spiritual growth?
- Do you want to be healed?