John 5:5-6, “One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, He asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?’ Sir, “the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once, the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”
Are you kidding me? How else can I start this devotional? Jesus, who knows everything from beginning to end, who knew this man in his mother’s womb, who knew exactly how this was going to go down, and this was the question He asked: Would you like to get well? This portion of scripture is shocking to me and got me thinking. Why?
A little background about this portion of scripture tells us about the Pools of Bethesda. It means the house of mercy or the flowing water. It was the belief of the times that the sick would wait for the water to move, which they believed was the result of an angel touching the water who was sent from God to heal the sick. There were five areas where the blind, lame, and paralyzed went to get a healing. It was a race to get to these areas when the waters were being stirred or moved. If you were in the water when the water was being stirred, you received your healing. If not, you would have to wait until the next time. So, back to the man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. We don’t know whether he had been at the pool for thirty-eight years, but we do know he was sick for that length of time and tried to receive healing at this location for a long period.
Onto the scene comes Jesus and curiously says, “Would you like to get well?” What is even more curious is the man’s response, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Immediately my head goes to a conversation I had with my 5-year old son. I asked, “Who broke the wheel on this Hot Wheels Car?” His response, “Daddy, look what I built over here.” I responded, “That’s not what I asked.” Having only one son, I kind of knew the answer. He eventually confessed, and life went on as we continued to play cars, trains, and planes. After Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, Creator of the Universe, the Son of Man asks you if you want to get well, you say, “YES!!!!” Of course not knowing that Jesus was who He was the man instead lamented and gave Jesus the reason why he had not received a healing. Having none of that spirit, Jesus told the man to immediately arise, and so he did, picking up his mat and walking away.
So, Jesus had a choice of five different areas to heal people. He chose this one area and this one man; why? Was it that this man was the one who had suffered the longest? Could God want us to know that those of us who have suffered for long periods of time have not been forgotten? Or, could it have been that this man was the sickest person there? Scripture doesn’t tell us why, but Jesus had a specific purpose for healing this man, at that time, in that manner.
So, do you have something in your life that you have been praying from for a long time and you kind of feel God has forgotten the prayer? Is the specific prayer like taking your daily shower or putting on clean underwear? Has the heart behind the prayer become accepting instead of expecting. I want to encourage you that the answer is coming. It is on the way. God has heard you all this time, and He immediately sent the answer. No longer will you sit by the side of the pool and wait for the waters to be stirred. God says to you on this day, now, “Get up and walk. My word says,’ By My Son’s stripes, you are healed.’ My Word says, ‘You are more than a conqueror.’’ The Living God says “to arise and live in the fullness of God.” The Lord says, “I have made you the head and not the tail.”
Prayer Starter: Father, I give You all the glory, honor, and praise. I thank You that You are a God who heals. I thank You that You care for me. I thank You that You heard my cry when the first tear left my eye. Thank You for answered prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.