John 5:1-7 – “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, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made 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.” NKJV
This is a powerful story and I’ve preached and taught from it often. I have found it applicable in numerous situations and conditions. However, I want to address an issue that is too often the situation in life – “Answering the Question Asked.” Here is a man that has been lame for 38 years and his life relegated to hoping an impossible hope and compelled to beg for his existence. I can only imagine what his mindset was after this long a time watching others receive their healing and he continued day after day, year after year in his lameness.
I am convinced, in reading and studying this account, that this man, like many, had developed a woe is me attitude. Understand I do not want to be overly critical of him for after that long a time many of us would be in the same condition. He is brought to the pool by the Sheep Gate called Bethesda daily where the sick, blind, lame, paralyzed, and suffering other issues waited for an angel to stir the water, and then the first one in the water received healing. It happened repeatedly and he was left in his hopelessness. It must have weighed on his mind.
I believe that this is exactly the case, for when Jesus came to the pool, many were there but focused on this man. That in itself is interesting for our Lord does nothing without a purpose and He was continually using the opportunities of life to teach truths that are invaluable for every person and generation. Jesus came to the man and asked an obvious question: “Do you want to be made well?” What? What a Question? I can imagine the response in the man’s mind, “I’m here every day what do you think?”
One would have thought that he would have shouted “YES!” However, that was not his answer. He said, “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.” His answer spoke to his mindset and suggested that very mindset was the major reason that Jesus approached him. He was hopeless, even probably blamed God and others for his condition and his answer justified his continuing in that state. His answer identified the absence of hope or faith and the focus on the problem. He did not realize that Jesus was the solution and might have been offended by the question since the answer should be obvious to anyone.
How many times has the Lord come to us and asked a similar question regarding some condition or situation in our lives and we focused on all the reasons why it was not or could not be a reality? How many? I wonder! One of his problems was that he only saw one solution and since that was a virtual impossibility, he had resigned himself to the continuation of his problem.
When the Lord comes to us and challenges us with a question like this, He is not looking for our excuses, justifications or explanations as to why it is not and cannot be He is looking for a simple response that receives what He brings. He is asking us to roll our cares upon Him and trust Him. Therefore, when you face a problem of long-standing instead of focusing on the problem and reasons why it must continue lift up your eyes to Jesus for, He is greater than our problems and HE CAN!
May God be with you as you go through your day!