It makes sense
(Part 1 of 2 )
TURN with me to the Gospel of John, chapter 5. We are ushered into a panorama of suffering. Joining Jesus in a visit to the pool of Bethesda, we see there “lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame and withered.” You gaze into each face, and eyes stare back at you with quiet despair. Some have been ailing for so long, even their strength to groan is gone.
How the tender heart of our Savior must have ached! Instead of looking unto God, these people have reduced their lives into a few ripples of water. They were “waiting for the moving of the waters, for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well.”
Suddenly the story narrows down to one man. “And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’”
What a question! We’d think, “Of course he wants to get well!” But imagine the tone of woe in his reply, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” To paraphrase: “Jesus, it’s bad enough I’ve spent the best years of my life flat on my back. It’s worse if other people steal the blessing that should have been mine.”
I wonder. If Jesus were to walk through our streets today, what would He see?
Would He see people who should be victorious over sin, but in reality, lame with defeat?
Would He see withered spirits, a far cry from having the spirit of “power, love and self-control?”
Would He see blinded saints, who should be walking in the light?
Would He see them in our cell groups? In our Bible studies? In our prayer meetings? In you?
But wait. Do you need Jesus to single you out, as He did to this man? And then, very tenderly, lovingly, say to you, “Do you wish to get well?” How would you answer Him?
“Yes, Lord, I wish to end this heartache once and for all...
“Yes, Lord, I wish to be released from my past...
“Yes, Lord, I wish to trust You. I’ve been anxious and worried sick...
“Yes, Lord, I wish to pray. My prayer life has been in the skids for so long...
“Yes, Lord, I wish to break this sin that keeps coming back...
What about you? What is it that you wish Jesus will heal you with? By His grace, our Lord did not allow the sick man to remain lying there. Taking the initiative, “Jesus said to him, ‘Arise, take up your pallet, and walk.’ And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet, and began to walk.” After almost four barren decades, he was in perfect health!
Can we learn anything from this miracle? Most assuredly YES!
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