As Jesus was in town, He came to a famous pool, the Pool of Bethesda, that was fed by a subterranean spring which caused the pool to rise and fall - to move - at certain times of the year. It was believed that an angel stirred up the pool, and then the first person who was touched by the water would be healed.
There were other pools like this, dotted around the ancient middle east Jerusalem’s was very well-known and built up with five covered porches to accommodate all the ailing pilgrims.
As He looked around, the Lord was drawn to this particularly helpless and hopeless man. The man had been ill for 38 years, and he was so weak and feeble he was unable to walk or even stand. We can deduce from what Jesus later told this man that this illness was all the result of some sin that he continued to be involved in.
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." [John 5:14]Maybe you can identify with this man.
* Maybe there is some emotional pain in your life that lingers and aches, and won’t go away. It saps your strength.
* Maybe you are dealing with a constant sense of failure.
* Maybe you’re dealing with a physical illness that has no cure.
* Maybe you are held in the grip of a sinful habit or an addiction, and instead of getting stronger, you’re getting all the time weaker as you try to deal with it.
As Jesus looked at this man, He knew the whole story. But then He asked this strange question, “Would you like to be healed?”
Huh? The man’s answer was full of sadness....yes, but...I have no one. I am helpless and I have lost hope of ever being well.
When do you and I go to self-pity instead of going to Jesus? Sometimes that happens to people, they become resigned to their pain, or their addiction, or their weakness.
It’s an important question. Jesus knows your story and mine, too. He knows about the struggle, the suffering, the loneliness. But sometimes people don’t want to get well. Being weak, feeble, unwell either physically or emotionally might be the most familiar place. Some people stay there because it’s what they know, and they’re afraid of what change would mean in their lives. You’ve gotten so used to being in the pit, you’re starting to call it home.
Sometimes people want to be dependant and not take responsibility. If you resonate with this man, who has been weak like this for such a long time, then this question is for you:
Would you like to be healed?
Before saying yes, it’s important to acknowledge that healing will mean a willingness to change, a commitment to change, and plain hard work.
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