Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Do You Want to be Well?

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.  Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  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?”  John 5:2-6

Being stuck is no fun. There are many situations in life that leave us feeling stuck, like there is no way out, and no way that anything will ever be any better.  Can you imagine living that way for 38 years?  In Jerusalem there was a pool called the pool of Bethesda, which means House of Mercy in Aramaic.  Many people believed the legend that an angel would come down and stir up the water and when that happened, the first person to get in the pool would be healed.  The pool was surrounded by five covered colonnades. Because of the legend of the healing powers of the water, a great number of disabled people would gather there to wait for the waters to be “stirred.”  Blind, lame, and paralyzed people would stay under the shade of the colonnades and just wait. 
One day Jesus came to Jerusalem for a feast and He passed by the pool.  He noticed one lame man in particular and He stopped and asked him Do you want to get well?  The lame man looked at Jesus and replied that he did indeed want to be well, but he was lame and had no way of getting to the water to be healed.  He couldn’t drag himself fast enough to be the first one in the water, and he had no one to carry him to the water.  He just sat and watched and waited for something that would never come.  And he had been doing it for 38 years.  Jesus looked at him and said Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. Immediately the man was cured, and he picked up his mat and walked. 
Just like that after 38 years, Jesus walks up and says eight words to him and he is healed.  He didn’t need to wait for the water to be stirred get in the “healing waters”.  He only needed Jesus.  He didn’t need to be faster, to get to the water quicker, He just needed Jesus.  
Sometimes it is a little easier to stay on the mat for 38 years and say I can’t help myself.  Instead of answering Jesus’ question, the man just told Him why that would be impossible.  How often do we tell Jesus “That just won’t work”instead of answering Yes Lord! I want to be well!  Getting well can be scary when you have been comfortable in one place for so long. Getting well requires trust when we can’t move ourselves off the mat.  Getting well requires change that will be uncomfortable at first.  But the worst feeling in the world is being in desperate need and having no hope.  And as long as we are content to stay on the mat, we will have no hope.  Even when we can’t see the way, we have to trust Jesus or the stress of trying to figure it all out will drive us crazy and take a toll on us physically.  We can’t make hope for ourselves.  When we have no hope, the only place to turn is to the only one who can give hope. When He offers hope, we have to be willing to get up off our mat and go.  Otherwise we just stay on our mats, looking day after day for hope that has already passed us by.  

Scripture to Claim:
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:15-16

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