John 5:1-17 – “After these things 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, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 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 from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] 5 A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 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?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “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.” 8 Jesus said to him, ” Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” 11 But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.'” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” NASB
What another spectacular day that is bursting on the horizon. The dawn has sprung, and God’s critters are beginning to stir making their way to their daily activities. Sitting alone in solitude and quietness meditating on the… Lord, His Word, and my life. Coffee is especially good today but that is because His presence is so real. The Holy Spirit directed me to this passage to speak His word to me today.
This passage has fascinated me for years. The most fascinating portion is the question that Jesus asked and the man’s response. This man had been sitting at the pool daily for 38 years in the hope of getting into the water first and being healed. He has had assistance getting there but apparently, once they brought him to the pool, they left him there for the day. For THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS, he had been on his bed or pallet watching person after person make it into the water sick or lame and come out well. For THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS, he had struggled to get to the water first but has been unable to do so. For THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS, he had suffered disappointment after disappointment.
Now, Jesus came and asked the most amazing question, “Do you wish to get well?” What? Jesus, I’ve been here for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS what do you think? Of course, I want to be HEALED! That would have been my answer and probably yours, at least, I think. But this man’s response is different. He says, “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.” I hear it in his words, I’m a Victim! He focused on his situation, no one to help. He focused on his condition before I can get there someone else beats me. He had become a Victim and had turned his focus upon his condition, his disappointment and now it is Poor Me!
I want to be fair he’s been in this condition THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS! I am sure each of us would be less than hopeful had this been us. I’m quite sure that most of us would not have been brimming with faith at this point. I’m equally sure that most of us would have turned the focus on us, our situation, and our condition as he did. But, answer the question! Jesus asked a simple, straight forward question that should have received a simple, straightforward answer. Jesus healed him, in spite of his self-focus, lack of faith and expectation, and in spite of his condition and situation.
Too many times in life, Jesus asks us a question and we fail to answer the question. We explain why it hasn’t happened and why it’s somebody the fault of something or someone else. We focus on our situation and I will be the first to say that this man had every reason to be disappointed, discouraged, and even in despair. THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS of failure to receive healing! THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS of seeing someone else receive healing! THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS of beginning the day with a small glimmer of hope and ending it with utter disappointment. Many would have become bitter. Most would be discouraged. Some would have lost their faith completely.
Frequently when Jesus comes to us, He asks a question that can be answered simply from the depths of our heart and out of our true desire, but we give him something else. STOP IT! Just Answer the Question! If it’s healing, Answer the Question! If it’s deliverance, Answer the Question! If it’s a restored relationship, Answer the Question!
No matter what the question, answer it, answer it straightforwardly and honestly! The answer does not lie in your condition, your situation nor is it dependent upon someone else – – the answer is In JESUS! So, answer His question and obey His command. Never give up hope! Never allow the focus to become you always make your first look The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. Looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith!
Today, make up your mind that you will always honestly and truly Answer the Question! Today is the beginning of your liberty in a new fashion.
Blessings to each as you go through your day!