“38 Years Is A Long Time”
Many of you know the story about the invalid man lying by the pool of Bethesda. This was not the only person by this water as the Bible informs us there were others. These people were blind, lame and paralyzed. The man we give attention to today had been laid day after day for 38 years beside this pool hoping someone would put him in the water for healing when it was stirred. It’s worth your time to read the account in John 5:1-9, even if you are familiar with this story. Here’s is this invalid, unable to move himself and Jesus walks by the pool one day. Seeing the man He asks, “Do you want to be well?” This is a question He may be asking each of us today. “Do you really want to get well? Do you want to grow as a Christian and as a person?”
A couple things to consider about the question Jesus asked. 1) He really believed the man was sick (had a need). 2) He (Jesus) had the possibility of a cure. But – there’s always a but! Even Christ could not heal this man against his own will. Notice the question is, “Do you want to be well?” (v 6). What’s important for us to remember is that, ANYTIME is the right time for God to do ANYTHING in our lives when our will is in harmony with His will! The man’s response is interesting. He said, “I have no one to help me into the pool …” (v 7). Is it possible we wasted lots of time waiting on the help or resources of other people when the Lord is the ONE we should be waiting for and depending upon? The asked a personal question – “Do you want to be well?” What is your personal need? Do you really want things to improve? Some people are satisfied with being martyrs. If they didn’t have anything to complain about they wouldn’t have a purpose in life. But thank God, Jesus walks into the lives of those wanting to get well.
What the Lord tells this man is fascinating: 1) RISE – This man was asked to do something he had never done before in his life – stand up! Christ will always challenge us with what seems to us an impossibility. 2) TAKE UP THY BED – Do everything possible to eliminate any temptation to fall back into your old ways. The “bed” was all this man knew. It would be tempting to fall back into it. The Lord told him to pick it up removing that temptation. What things you need to eliminate from your life so you can move forward? 3) The Lord said, “WALK!” Get up, pick up your bed and walk. What might God be saying to right now? What things (or people) do you need to remove yourself from in order to get well? It’s time for you to WALK. That’s present tense, as in right now – this moment. Make a decision to trust God and get well!! He cannot help you without your desire for Him to do so.